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When Binge Eating Collides with Anxiety

When Binge Eating Collides with Anxiety

Binge eating disorder is having uncontrollable eating habits and you continue these habits despite the negative consequences it can bring to your body. It can mean eating quickly, eating when you are not hungry, eating until you feel uncomfortably bored, feel shame after eating, or feel the need to eat alone so no one can see your abnormal behaviors.

Anxiety plays a big role in why someone has binge eating disorder. According to Eating Disorder Hope, 37% of binge eaters have anxiety disorder. When people feel anxiety, they use food as an unhealthy outlet to cope with their feelings of anxiety or depression so they see binge eating as escaping their problems. They also subject themselves to high standards and get really nervous when things are not going their way. Traumatic history like physical, sexual, or emotional abuse as well as life stressors can risk people to binge eat and get anxiety. They feel that if they do not have control over the obstacles that life brings to them, their body and what food they put in it is the one thing that they have control over. It can also be anxiety from harsh and critical comments of their body image or their weight.

The best way to treat both binge eating and anxiety is to let your therapist know that you are dealing with both disorders so that they are being treating simultaneously. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy will help the binge eater find, challenge and decrease the negative emotions and thoughts that are causing you to binge eat. This mode of therapy will also help you figure out what triggers make you feel worse enough to binge eat.

Interpersonal therapy can identify and manage how your binge eating has affected the relationships that you have with others. For example, if you are friends with people who are skinny and you see them barely eating anything, you may feel like avoiding eating with those friends so that you can eat as much as you want without them judging or criticizing you. There are medications to take as well with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors being the most effective. There is also tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and opioid receptor antagonists. There are healthier ways to deal with your anxiety than by eating large quantities. By using these modes of therapy as well as medication, you have the power to overcome these disorders.

The Center for Professional Recovery offers the Professional Treatment Program, designed specifically to address the unique needs of professionals, like first-responders. Our programs are designed to treat co-occurring disorders which might arise and restore first-responders in a way which allows them to return to work and continue taking care of their mental health. For information on our full continuum of care for professionals, call us today: (855) 422-4129

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