Many people in the UK are living with a food addiction, where they may suffer from a medically acknowledged eating disorder. It may manifest itself in an overriding compulsion to continue eating. Despite the fact, they may be full or consuming food at an unhealthy rate, which could impact their health.
Some people can have a complicated relationship with food, which may determine their eating habits. There is a broad spectrum of eating disorders which would signify a food addiction. It can be just as powerful as a person with a drinking problem craving alcohol, or someone with a drug addiction looking for narcotics.
If you feel an overpowering need to eat compulsively or are showing the signs of a binge eating disorder, you may be suffering from a behavioural addiction. This may be signified by a compelling desire to consume high fat or high sugar foods, triggering the reward system in the brain. This is in the vein of cases of drug addiction and alcoholism, where consuming food over a long period can become a dependency. An individual may even display symptoms of withdrawal, like going through detox, If they try to cut down, or switch to low sugar or low-fat foods.
People may overeat to an unhealthy degree, to the point which can be considered a dependency, for many different reasons. If you are feeling low, anxious or depressed, you may engage in what is known as comfort eating. If you are down in the dumps or suffering from low self-esteem, you may eat to feel better.
In many ways, it replicates why some people turn to alcohol or use drugs. Some see it as an escape, or a way of dealing with their problems they may have. Be it professional, personal, relationship, money or family problems, which could be causing you to comfort eat. However, if you overeat over a long time; possibly weeks, months or years, it can become an addiction, with lasting ramifications for your physical or mental wellbeing.
If you are battling a food addiction, you may feel compelled to eat when you are not hungry or continue eating when full. You may conceal the fact you have been eating and feel guilty about it afterwards. You may try to make up for overeating by vigorously exercising or dieting, perhaps even starving yourself, which could have adverse consequences.
Unfortunately, if you are a compulsive eater, or struggling with a clinical binge eating disorder, it may result in debilitating health conditions. It can lead to obesity, which could contribute to serious, possibly life-threatening complaints, such as diabetes, hypertension, heart problems, respiratory disease and cancer. A person with a food addiction may also suffer musculoskeletal injuries like slipped discs and blown knees and be at risk of accidental injury.
It is also a sad fact, if someone feels they may have eaten too much, they may try to release the food from their system by voluntarily vomiting between meals, exhibiting signs of the eating disorder Bulimia.
If you are living with a food addiction, you may display a broad range of emotional or psychological effects. Your friends and family may have witnessed a change in your personality, and you may be showing anti-social tendencies, becoming more distant or withdrawn. A food dependency can also be a source of anxiety and depression, where you may feel so sorry or guilty for overeating, or putting on weight, that you exhibit indicators of mental illness, which may necessitate treatment.
Fortunately, similarly to other dependencies like alcoholism, gambling or drug abuse, food addiction can be treated with counselling. But, unlike addictive abuse problems treated by stopping taking the substance, abstinence is not always recommended in cases of food addiction.
Therefore, it is felt through regular psychological counselling sessions, as well as contemporary therapy techniques like CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), you could identify any potential triggers at the heart of your issues with food.
Could it be derived from a trauma in the past or from childhood? You may have an underlying emotional stress disorder, low self-image or problems with self-esteem alongside other pressing concerns, work, family, relationship or money worries, which may be contributing to your dependency.
By engaging in counselling therapies and specific strategy sessions, you could explore the psychological and physical factors of food addiction. Be assured you will be under the care of the exceptional medical professionals, doctors, nurses and counsellors at your regional residential rehab centre. They can answer any queries you may have, and help you find the perfect long-term strategy.
It is not uncommon to use hypnotherapy or holistic therapies like mindfulness and meditation. There is also dietary, nutritional and meal planning information available, alongside behavioural modification, emotional management training and 12 step programs, which could be used in the treatment of food addiction.
Unlike taking drugs or drinking alcohol, eating is a necessity, but what if a requirement of life has become the bane of your existence?
What if your eating habits have become a problem, affecting your mental and physical health? Help is at hand, if you undergo counselling at a residential rehab centre. It could be the key to defeating your food addiction.