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Eating, Substance Abuse and Personality Disorder Essay

DSM IV-TR Category Definition: From text or other Source Classification
Eating Disorders These involve eating habits that deviate greatly from those of normal people.
  • Anorexia Nervosa. Characterized by highly reduced food consumption.
  • Bulimia Nervosa. Characterized by highly increased food consumption.
Personality Disorders Behavioral qualities that make an individual to act in a manner that generally deviates from that of a normal person.
  • Cluster A. These are odd behaviors that are characterized by an individual being self centered and developing suspicion against others.
  • Cluster B. This covers disorders that result in an individual becoming erratic and violent.
  • Cluster C. This cluster covers those that result in anxiety or fear in an individual.
Substance Abuse This refers to the use of substances such as drugs in a manner or in quantities that are considered unhealthy.
  • Substance Use. A substance is used for a perceived right purpose.
  • Substance Misuse. A substance is used for a wrong purpose.
  • Substance Abuse. A substance is used for the right purpose but in wrong quantities or by wrong methods.
Sexual Disorders These are sexual behaviors and attitudes that differ greatly with those of the majority.
  • Paraphilias. Refers to sexual arousal by an individual to things that, by default, should not.
  • Gender Identity Disorder. Refers to the discontentment with one’s sexual orientation.


These disorders have the tendency of reducing the ability of human beings to function normally. They have an associated stigma in the manner in which they are perceived and it therefore becomes necessary to develop a clear understanding of each one of them so as to enhance realistic interventions. These interventions would then facilitate the resumption of normalcy.


Eating Disorders

These components are concerned with the various aspects of the body such as genetics and the functioning of the endocrine system. They also include deficiencies and excesses of hormones in the body. Complications such as anorexia result in individuals with low levels of serotonin (Krieg & Pirke, 2009).

Substance Disorders

This may occur as a result of chemical or biological deficiencies. They can also occur as result of self medication among the people. The above reasons account for about 50% disorders. It has been found that the dopamine neurotransmission and release is usually affected by the use of drugs (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Sexual/Gender/Sex Disorders

Medical illness and aging are good examples of biological components under this category. Paraphilia has been associated with some of the characteristics of biological components such as brain injuries and tumors (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Personal Disorders

Research has resulted in the belief that disorders such as reduced white or grey matter volume in the brain occurs when environmental factors and genetics overlap.


Eating Disorders

Eating behavior that is not as normal as is expected may be the resultant effect of failure to reach one’s present dreams. Some people naturally see it as a way of protecting themselves from sexual abuse (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Substance Use Disorders

Most of the individuals affected with this have a tendency of having depression most of the time (Goldstein, 2002). It is therefore considered by many researchers in the field as a mechanism for defense by the individuals against the memories of the past (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Sexual/Gender/Sex Disorders

This usually manifests in people who have had sexual abuse in the past. Such people tend to get involved in sexual offenses and this is considered by many researchers as a defense mechanism through which the victims protect themselves from any similar abuse (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Personality Disorders

The type of childhood a person had affects the way he/she behaves. Ridicule and/or criticism from parents at the early stages of life result in the child developing some aspects of maladaptive defense mechanism (Hansell & Damour, 2008).


Eating Disorders

This focuses on the thoughts and attitudes people have towards eating and starvation. Factors such as weight gain or weight loss occupy many people’s minds and may drive them to increase or reduce food intake so as to achieve their meditated goals (Krieg & Pirke, 2009).

Substance Use Disorders

Use of substances usually creates a feeling that one is overcoming the excessive tensions in life. Most people believe that this results in relaxation of the mind as the substance results in coping up with the life’s stressors. Such people usually develop negative expectancies and schemas (Goldstein, 2002).

Sexual/Gender/Sex Disorders

Under this component there is an association of sex and arousal with maladaptive thoughts. There is arousal of an individual to deviant stimuli (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Personality Disorders

Under this component there is a perception that the personality of an individual results from childhood experiences. The individual’s behavior is then formed as a result of thought patterns being shaped by the experiences.


Eating Disorders

Individuals are characterized by vomiting facilitated by use of laxatives and practice of starvation as a mechanism to enhance weight loss. These disorders are therefore an indication of chaotic eating behavior.

Substance Use Disorders

Substances such as drugs have a big impact on the behavior of an individual. This is because by using them there is a feeling that negative experiences are reduces whereas the positive ones are induced and thus a person becomes insured (Goldstein, 2002).

Sexual/Gender/Sex Disorders

Rewarding individuals for sexual behaviors that are inappropriate can result in the emphasis of the behavior within a person.

Personality Disorders

This component focuses on the maladaptive disorders as result of childhood experiences. The behavior continues since the individuals are usually attracted to the experiences (Hansell & Damour, 2008).


In order to achieve successful therapeutic applications it is important to understand and address these disorders through the use of psychological science. Disorders such as substance abuse, sexual dysfunctions, and disordered eating can be declared as those that do not have anything in common. However, there is the persistence of explanation the distressing experiences that surround both the internal conflicts and the biological components.


Goldstein, R. Z. (2002). Drug Addiction and Its Underlying Neurobiological Basis: Neuroimaging Evidence for the involvement of the Frontal Cortex. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 150(10), 1632-1662.

Hansell, J. & Damour, L. (2008). Abnormal Psychology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Krieg, J. & Pirke, K. (2009). Structural Brain Abnormalities in Patients with Bulimia Nervosa. Psychiatry Research, 27(1), 39-48.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Eating, Substance Abuse and Personality Disorder." January 12, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/eating-substance-abuse-and-personality-disorder/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Eating, Substance Abuse and Personality Disorder'. 12 January.

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