Other Addictions:

Anorexia, Bulimia, and Other Eating Disorders:

People who have never wrestled with some of these problems can’t imagine how something as ordinary and prosaic as eating can lead to peculiar addictions and strange rituals such as binging and purging.  When the CNS is disturbed, however, it seems that no activity is immune from its pathological expressions.  Here the gender assymetry is skewed toward the female end, but we have also treated male anorexics and bulimics.  Anorexia has to do with body dysmorphic fantasies, and cultural norms that stress slimness and abhor fatness.  In anorexia, self-starvation becomes an activity that is compulsive in nature, and once begun, cannot stop.

Bulimia includes overeating (binging) and then vomiting (purging) often repeated many times daily, as if the whole issue of food were enormously potent for the sufferer.  Both anorexia and bulimia can have very serious health consequences.  A considerable psychiatric and psychological literature related the problem to familial and childhood issues, but psychotherapy has mixed results with the problem.

Other eating disorders include the constant need to feel full (not to feel empty) and the inability to stop eating.  Other people use it as some use alcohol or drugs as an anti-anxiety or anti-depressant maneuver.  In fact what we have found with these problems is that when you reduce the underlying anxiety or depression, the eating disorder also begins to ameliorate.

Pornography:

While pornography has always been a (predominantly male) addiction, and widespread in many cultures, in various ways, the Internet has made pornography far too available to  a large population of addicts.  Pornography can seem to be an addiction if it interferes with normal expression of sexual urges, or replaces appropriate social, courting and marital outlets.  Recent epidemiological studies have shown how truly large the problem is.

Images are passive, and put no personal and relational demands on the porn addict.  In our observation the addiction blocks an achievement of developmentally appropriate sexual expression in youth or adult.  Like any addiction, it is characterized by “repetition compulsion” and yet diminishing rewards with repeated abuse.  Here is where the LENS shows its unique efficacy for the varieties of addictive experience.  By calming and balancing the CNS, it simply makes the dysfunctional ‘reinforcement process’ less attractive.  In a sense the immature, pathological gratification cycle just seems less interesting.

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