Food Addictions (Eating Disorders)

 

Eating disorders can include a wide range of food disorders ranging from simple food addictions to the more obscure and sometimes complex causes underlying conditions such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. It is currently estimated that food addiction  effects 5% of the world’s population. It predominantly effects 7% of women and 5% of men, who all feel they have an unhealthy relationship with food.

Whilst eating disorders can be rooted in quite  complex causes, for the majority of the population it can best be defined as any relationship with food that they find difficult. Contrary to some popular beliefs, eating disorders are not simply about food, they may be caused by some painful feelings which a person finds difficult to understand, express and resolve. The focus on food can be a way of avoiding these painful thoughts by seeking control of their food and eating habits. As with other forms of addiction the individual experiences concurrent emotions of guilt, shame, depression and the fear of their problem being exposed .

Some indicators of food addiction might be one or more of the following:

  • Filling the supermarket trolley predominantly with high sugar and high fat items with a noticeable lack of healthy foods such as vegetables.
  • Eating foods which should not be eaten owing to a medical condition such as diabetes, high cholesterol levels and heart problems.
  • Continuing to eat after a large meal, even when our stomach feels full .
  • Ordering fast food several times in one evening via online food delivery apps.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when abstaining from eating such as feelings of stress ,anxiety, depression and food cravings
  • Feeling of guilt when we have over eaten or binge eaten .
  • Hiding our eating habits from others.

 Most food addiction is not too dissimilar to many other forms of addiction which could be categorised as compulsive disorders and their roots are not simply down to the specific addiction itself, as some types of fatty foods and those high in sugar content can play a major part in activating the brains reward center. For example, you might celebrate good news by buying your favourite candy or chocolate bar, but during times of sadness or pain you may revert to eating those same foods to make you feel happier, thus your brain is conditioned to generate the same thoughts of reward in both positive and negative situations.

Here at Addictions Away, we help you to explore and identify the reasons behind your food cravings  and understand more clearly your emotional dependency on food. This will allow us to deliver the most appropriate form of therapy tailored to your unique circumstances.  Throughout your entire journey on the road to recovery our fully qualified and registered therapist will work closely alongside you thus ensuring the best possible outcome. We offer confidential on-line and in person therapy services regulated by The British Standards Authority, provided at one of our therapy suites located throughout North Wales and Cheshire. 

 Click here to book an on-line Zoom or in person therapy session