Tina S.

I am writing to support the inclusion of “food” as a substance use disorder in the DSM-5 as well moving Binge Eating Disorder to a formal diagnosis.  I suffer from both of these diseases and am alive today because I have been able to find treatment for it, in many cases, people who have helped me out of the goodness of their heart.  In 1991 I was a client at Glenbeigh Hospital of Tampa.  There I received formal treatment for binge eating disorder.  I also received treatment for food addiction, although it wasn’t formally recognized as an addiction.  I have worked as a counselor and case manager in the field of chemical dependency for several years and have come to understand that my own food addiction is similar to drug addiction and alcoholism.  When I have treated myself as a “drug addict” with food, I can recover.  Food addiction is real, and lack of information and treatment is preventing many people from recovering from this condition.  I, myself, am an insulin-dependent diabetic.  I depend on my insulin in a similar way that I depend on my recovery from food addiction (i.e. detoxing from addictive foods and getting professional support).  I need both to help keep me alive and healthy today.

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