Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Anne Katherine's "Anatomy of a Food Addiction" theorizes that food addicts may have been born with problems if their parents had alcohol or sugar sensitivity, depression, perfectionism, or other compulsive behavior. If a food addict was born with insufficient serotonin levels, when they hurt, they hurt badly, and sugar and carbohydrates may have brought some relief. Since people repeat whatever behavior they think is working to relieve pain, whether it is eating, drinking alcohol, or drugs, the problem goes from self-medication to physical addiction. Katherine points out, "The physical addiction is one giant part of the problem, but the problem has other parts too. Recovery comes about when we pay attention to all of the parts together."

The next assignment is to do a genogram, which is sort of a combined flow chart/family tree. It is under assignment 2.1 on page 47 of the book.

"What evidence is there that you inherited the susceptibility to this addiction? Trace the origin of your disease in your ancestors and role models. Make a genealogy chart of as many ancestors as you or other family members can remember. Next to each name, use the symbols listed below to indicate their involvement in addictive or compulsive behavior. Be alert to clues that point to skeletons in the closet, such as "He had a small drinking problem," "He died of liver disease," "She had lung cancer," or "He was pretty heavy."

Circle: Female
Square: Male
Dotted line: Death
Slashed line: Divorce
FA: Food addict
A: Alcoholic
D: Drugs
S: Compulsive sex
$: Compulsive spending/shopping
CW: Compulsive work behavior
G: Compulsive gambler
N: Nicotine
CO: Codependent or caretaker
R: Rigid
VR: Very religious
I: Chronically ill
Dp: Depressed
Db: Diabetic
ED: Eating disorder

The image above illustrates some standard genogram symbols.

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