What addiction really is
Your body makes certain chemicals to-amongst other things- help animate you physically and mentally; an example of these is endogenous opiates.
If you take in a version of these artificially, i.e. use drugs from the opiate family; cocaine, crack, heroin. Your body reduces its internal production of these chemicals-in order to prevent your body overdosing. After your system has used up these drugs, your body restores its own production back to normal or near normal levels. The gap between this happening is what users refer to as "coming down". That down period indicates some of why the body makes these chemicals.
Addiction happens when your body doesn't or cannot quite restore its level of production back to normal. It is then under-functioning. This makes people dependent on the artificial supply to support their flagging system. It's the point when users say, they take drugs not to get high, but just tofeel normal." This can happen because the mechanism is sensitive (to being depressed) or inflexible in some people. Or it can be worn out through repeated intake of drugs.
Things required for a substance to be addictive
That means a substance that has the capacity to literally, poison and/or end your body's ability to continue functioning. It is the body's attempt to avoid destruction or death that is the basis of addiction. You cannot be addicted to anything that cannot poison or overwhelming your body's ability to function.
The substance makes you "high."
This refers to extreme mood elevation (not mere relief of urge or pleasant feelings). Changes in perception can occur; i.e. seeing things that aren't there, not seeing things that are there (hallucination) and so on.
Addictive substances, disassemble your functioning, i.e. you become physically and mentally uncoordinated.
Getting high is a by product of the intoxication process. It's literally the early stages of poisoning that's messing you up. This is an objective state. It can be observed by others. It does not need to be "discovered" through brain scans or misinterpretation of the workings of the nervous system.
As has been clearly demonstrated by the AMA's recent decision. Many people no longer use words for their meaning, but for their associations.
Addiction, in the minds of the ignorant- often those who stigmatize drug addicts-is associated with being out of control, not being able to stop some habit or other. So whenever they have a troublesome issue they think, "addiction". When in reality, genuine addiction is an issue of function.
The self dramatizing attempt to appropriate misunderstanding of drug addicts experience must stop. Addicts have already been put through enough; sacrificed by society, marginalized, hounded, demonized and pathologized. Their habit put into the hands of criminals in order to mash them up, acting as discouragement for others.
Anyone who wishes to describe their issues with food is welcome to do so accurately and put the effort in to understand and explain to others what they're going through. They also need to stop ignoring the fact that everyone eats.
We all get hungry, have appetites and eat. They do not own food, nor have the right to distort or pathologize it to gain what they feel is sufficient recognition for their pains. If they cannot do that by describing their experience as is. Then they have to question whether their feelings match that reality.
Their reprehensible linking of a natural self nurturing act to pathology, forgets this will condemn children for the first time to grow up perceiving self maintenance as an act of dependence. Rather like thinking of sex as a shameful act. The culture of anorexia as 'cure' for fatness is already lowering the onset of anorexia almost to toddlerhood, are we going to bookend this debacle with another disaster at the other end? We owe them more than that.
An excess of appetite and /or hunger is usually more along the lines of an obsessive compulsive disorder;
Don't get pleasure when performing the behaviors or rituals, but get brief relief from the anxiety the thoughts causeEating relieves the extreme build up of pressure coming from your (overwrought) hunger and appetite mechanisms. This is not getting high. Though experiences and interpretations may differ, I doubt getting high or drunk on cake would have gone unnoticed.
Obsessive compulsions and neuroses of any kind demand re-balancing of your overall nervous system not abstinence (which doesn't actually cure the cause of addiction. It deals with the symptom-drug use).
With obsessive compulsion- an essentially benign instinct has gotten to a way higher setting. You don't need to rid yourself of it totally, but to get it back into balance. If you have this problem you need to look at balancing your system as a whole. [I'm not recommending that particular book it is just an example of the overall approach. Seek out a version that speaks to you.]
Calm yourself and your system down as a whole. Some have found meditation helps to start that process. Stick with it as it can take a while. Stop any habits of self hatred or putting yourself down. A lot of people with this problem have a habit of taking disappointment in on themselves in order not to show aggression. This can act as a depressant on your system which then seeks additional energy to keep you from sinking into mental illness. It requires you to change the way you see yourself. To learn to trust yourself and your emotions.