March 21, 2014
Food is necessary to human survival; it provides the sustenance and energy that we need to carry ourselves through the day. But food can also be used as a coping mechanism for our problems. With people who suffer from disorders like anorexia, a limiting of food helps to offer control. And with binge eating disorders, food helps to self-medicate feelings and fears a person has about daily life.
Binge eating disorders are characterized by frequent episodes of binging and overeating. These behaviors are used as an attempt to solve problems in our lives. However, binge eating is a vicious cycle - after the episode, the feelings creep back in and we feel out-of-control and negative about ourselves. This in turn can encourage another episode to happen!
Because bingeing can feel like a behavior that can't be controlled, sometimes it's very difficult to recover from a binge eating disorder. Learning to eat food in moderation is something that takes time and dedication. In addition, it's important to learn healthy coping mechanisms for your thoughts and feelings. Since binge eating is used as a form of self-medication, it's even harder to stop if you have no other ways to deal with negative influences.
One of the most important aspects to remember is that binge eating disorders are part of the mind as much as the body. Though most of the effects manifest physically, the causes are found in a malicious thought process. Eating allows an escape and temporary relief, but will ultimately make you more unhappy in the long run.
If you feel you need assistance to get your life back under control, seeking professional help is the best route. However, if you don't have the means to do so, there are also support groups and helpful resources on the internet. If you need to talk to someone right now, you can open a chat on 7 Cups, and you can also connect to other members on our recently-launched Member Forum.
Though sometimes life may seem out of control, you have the strength and the means to cope with your experiences and emotions in a healthy way. Recovery is a long and sometimes painful process, but ultimately you'll be happier and safer. And there are people who are rooting for you and who will support you, even if it takes some time to find them.
I wish you all the best.
By, Katie MacEachern
7 Cups of Tea Listener: KittyKat