What is Binge and Compulsive Eating?

It is a serious mental illness, which can result in an Eating Disorder. People who suffer from Binge and Compulsive Eating experience a loss of control and overeat on a regular basis, adopting one or more of the following behaviours:

  • consume large quantities of food over a short period of time (which can happen at any time of the day and they are not necessarily hungry)
  • certain food types are consumed privately, usually quickly and with little enjoyment
  • binges happen numerous times each day or several times per week

As a result of these behaviours, feelings of guilt and disgust occur at the lack of control after binge eating.  Sufferers may have also tried many diets without success, creating the feeling of a hopeless cycle.

There are also physical symptoms such as:

  • dietary chaos
  • fatigue
  • diabetes or insulin resistance
  • poor thyroid function
  • strain on the heart

How therapy will work to help you

Therapy offers a supportive, non-judgmental and safe environment; giving you space away from everyday life to understand how Bingeing or Compulsive Eating has developed and how it currently impacts on your life.

The initial meeting will help me to build a treatment plan that is right for you.

Together we will explore some sensitive areas to really understand how:

  • the condition has developed
  • emotional and physical coping strategies are working/not working
  • the intake of food has become out of control (see example questions that may be explored in therapy below)
  • food is used for emotional comfort
  • constant mood swings of depression, shame, loneliness and despair are experienced
  • the condition affects self-esteem, life style and body image
  • the desire to be thin and lose weight, but eat compulsively at times is all consuming

Holding this information and working together in a therapeutic environment we will explore and look forward, because recovery is possible with the right support and treatment.

Examples of questions:

  • Do you eat at all times of the day?
  • Are you addicted to bingeing food?
  • Do you graze continually throughout the day?
  • Do you pay any attention as to whether you are hungry or is this of no consequence?
  • Do you binge in secret?
  • Is it a ritual that has to happen?
  • How have you have managed your weight before. Are you always on and off diets, but nothing works for long?
  • Do you make many plans around food and what you will eat, but it’s never enough you always want more?

Recovery aims

Binge and Compulsive Eating sufferers struggle with their relationship with food, losing willpower and confidence from within.. Deep down they know that they have withdrawn from normal life and spend most of the time worrying about food. Binge and Compulsive Eating treatment works across many areas; it is not just about food.

Recovery includes:

  • building motivation and commitment to change
  • understanding how the relationship with food has developed and maintained (this is known as the predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating factors)
  • starting a new relationship with food, working together gently to achieve manageable steps
  • identifying new perspectives; for example coping without favorite foods
  • managing food-cravings and gaining self-control with food
  • nutritional knowledge and lifestyle changes to eliminate over eating and promote weight loss
  • managing negative thoughts and behavioral patterns, for example: anxiety, fear, unhappiness, anger, self-loathing without turning to food
  • managing constant worries around food and weight
  • gaining confidence, control and emotional strength
  • healing body image
  • physical appearance changes to help increase energy and thus decrease the chance of diabetes and insulin resistance. This doesn’t mean going to the gym!
  • knowing how to cope with a relapse so that you keep feeling in control

Whether you know or think you may have a problem, try not to ignore it or struggle to cope. I encourage you to take that first and important step and seek help. Sufferers often believe that nothing will help them, they have tried many times to make changes. They experience a deep sense of self-loathing, despair and hopelessness, finding it difficult to initially ask for help. I will be there to support you through changes, helping you at each stage to overcome any difficulties in a trustful and safe environment. Recovery is possible.

If you think I could help you or would like more information please contact me.

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