When does 'emotional eating' turn into a full blown eating disorder ?
Last Updated: 08/14/2018 at 7:26am
Tracy-Kate Teleke, M.A., LMFT
Marriage & Family Therapist
I assist adults and couples in CA experiencing relationship challenges and interpersonal struggles including anxiety, depression, and a myriad of other life challenges.
Top Rated Answers
It's hard to identify an 'exact point' for the development of an eating disorder but I would consider it to be around the time when your behaviours around food significantly impact your life and/or wellbeing.
Emotional eating turns into a full blown eating disorder from the point when it is the only escape, and what you use to feel better about every single thing, like if there was no other escape, just like any other addicting activity , like drugs or self harm
emotional eating is normal to some degree, but if your thoughts start revolving around food for the majority of your day and you are stuck in thoughts of guilt, these are strong signs pointing towards an eating disorder.
Emotional eating turns into an eating disorder when you find yourself doing it all the time. You find yourself saying no to every meal offered and you can't seem to break the habit. It is important to realize that emotional eating only takes place for one day up to a week but once further than that it can me classed as an eating disorder.
This turns into an eating disorder if it occurs 2+ times a week for 1 month and if you feel guilty and ashamed after emotionally eating. Emotional eating also means that you eat to get rid of negative emotions and eating is the only way to gain pleasure and cope.
When you cannot control it anymore. Once you are unable to control your actions over something there is a disorder in this case with food involved it would turn into an eating disorder such as compulsive eating.
When it becomes a regular occurrence in which you have little control over it. When you lack control and find yourself turning towards food as a coping mechanism you will most likely present symptoms of food attachment and eating disorder
I believe that when "emotional eating" becomes all you can think about and all that you relay on in order to get you through any stress is when someone should start to think about it before it gets worse.
There are several different symptoms that you have to fall under to be classified and diagnosed as having an eating disorder. Everyone gets upset and most of us over eat to compensate for feeling crappy- my personal favourite is milk and cookies when I've had a particularly bad day! It doesn't mean that you have an eating disorder but if it's worrying you I'd see your doctor :)
In my personal experience, realizing that you have an emotional eating disorder isn't discovered until it is too late and the weight and health issues are already present.
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