Nearly everyone will overeat sometimes, whether it be a special occasion or a lazy day at home. But when overeating becomes a habit or is connected to other disorders, there may be a reason for concern. Whether we realize it or not, we all have some form of “relationship” with food, which is typically driven by emotion. In fact, emotions are the underlying cause of eating disorders, and debilitating shame and guilt are often the result. The good news is with some effort, you can improve your eating habits and take control of your emotional and mental health.
The Relationship Between Mental Health and Overeating
Many health experts correlate depression and other mental health issues with overeating. This can be a continual cycle – as you feel depressed, you eat too much unhealthy food. A high-fat, high-sugar diet can then cause chronic illness, pain, and depression – which leads to more overeating. According to research published by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, those who battle mental health issues are more likely to develop binge eating disorders.
Depressive Binge Eating: Signs to Look For
Symptoms of a chronic overeating problem that is likely associated with depression or other mental health issues include the following:
- An inability to stop eating and a disinterest in doing so.
- Rapidly and repeatedly ingesting significant amounts of food.
- Consuming more food after feeling full
- Never feeling emotional or physical satisfaction
- Constantly feeling apathy and emotional numbness
- Feeling guilt & worthlessness connected to the behavior
Coping with Binge Eating
Binge eating disorders can be treated simultaneously with depression, but you must seek professional help to face these dual issues effectively. A mental health counselor can help you discover the root causes of both conditions and work with you to develop a plan for facing them both.
A licensed therapist is instrumental in identifying destructive weight-control behaviors such as:
- Nutritional constraints and phobias
- Purging behaviors
- Unhealthy body avoidance and negative self-image
- Self-worth and self-esteem issues
One of the great myths facing our society is that mental health is not as essential as physical health, but that could not be further from the truth. As we have seen, ailing mental health can easily transcend into physical health issues, and the two are intimately related. When confronting negative overeating habits, you need to admit that there may be depression, and low self-esteem issues in play, which are causing binging behaviors and weight gain that further impact how you view yourself. Instead of hoping willpower and self-restricting rules do the trick, look to a mental health therapist or mindful eating coach to help you regain control of your thoughts, habits, and life.
Denise Schonwald is a nationally certified counselor and coach who works with clients nationwide. You can learn from the comfort of your own home to overcome the guilt and shame often associated with emotional eating behaviors. Through compassionate and specialized treatment, Denise will help you to develop steps to identify the triggers that set you off personally, disrupt the behaviors and learn to discern between emotional and physical hunger. Once the root causes have been established, she will work with you to tackle the issues behind your depression as well, and you will be on your way to both physical and emotional healing.
Are you ready to experience freedom from harmful emotional eating? Denise Schonwald can help you by providing alternatives for those who have had no luck with other methods.