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Chocolate Addiction: Definition, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

April 6, 2011

The Chocolate Monster! By s.alt on Flickr

Tonight after dinner it dawned upon me that I didn’t have any chocolate anywhere in my house. I had a few options available to me at this stage:

1) Go out and buy some chocolate.
2) Use cocoa powder to make chocolate brownies or cakes.
3) Go without chocolate.

I have reluctantly decided to go for option 3, but even as I’m writing this I’m considering option 2 and this has got me thinking… Do I actually have a chocolate addiction? Do chocolate addictions really exist.

Definition and symptoms

The subject of chocolate addiction is a often considered to be a harmless bit of fun. For chocolate addicts however, it can be an expensive and dangerous addiction with serious side effects on health. Here is my definition of a chocolate addiction:

Chocolate addiction is a state of periodic or chronic intoxication produced by the repeated consumption of a chocolate (natural or synthetic). Its characteristics include: (i) an overpowering desire or need (compulsion) to continue taking the chocolate and to obtain it by any means; (ii) a tendency to increase the dose of chocolate; (iii) a psychic (psychological) and generally a physical dependence on the effects of the chocolate; and (iv) detrimental effects on the individual and on society.

Causes:

  • Love of the taste or texture of chocolate or chocolate covered treats.
  • The sweetness or sugar rush chocolate provides.
  • The bodies need for endorphins (the ‘feel good’ chemicals that chocolate helps to produce in the body.
  • The more you have the more you want effect.

Treatment:

The treatment can be found here and includes:

  • Will Power
  • Joining a support group
  • Increase your concentration & change behavioural patterns
  • Simple measures such as not buying any chocolate
  • Avoid the confectionary aisles at the supermarket, or ask someone else to do the shopping for you whilst you are coping with the initial period of withdrawal (personal favourite!)

On my search I also found this site – the adverts are a bit ironic! I thought the picture caught chocolate addiction particularly well too.

Serious Lack of Chocolate Today:

02.10 Banana
09.15 Cheerios
13.05 Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni with roast potatoes and green beans.
16.20 Chocolate Digestive Biscuit x3
19.45 Chicken Pasta Bake
20.00 Bit of ice cream

PS. Mum if you’re reading this, can you please send me a chocolate package?

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