The numbers of both men and women who have difficulties caused by compulsive eating is steadily increasing. A disproportionate number of women are affected, although there are a significant number of male sufferers.
Eating disorders take many different forms. Some people struggle with compulsive eating, binge eating (frequently in secret) sometimes to the point where they feel sick, or even make themselves sick (bulimia). Afterwards they often feel disgusted with themselves, and ashamed of their behaviour. Rewarding yourself with food is a way in which many people cope with stress, anxiety and other negative emotions
Unfortunately, it is often the case that people around the sufferer, carers and many professional bodies focus on the problem, the eating (or lack of it) and try and take control of the sufferer’s eating for them. But as you can probably understand, if someone else is trying to take control of the very thing you are taking control of, you are just going to be even more adamant that you will be in control. So, you can see that many traditional therapies and the people around the sufferer, although motivated by best intentions, can exacerbate the problem.
There are many causes of binge eating and binge drinking. These include stress and anxiety, dieting (when you deny yourself certain foods – or even sufficient food – to try and lose weight, the urge to compensate often leads to binge eating and overeating), boredom or nervousness. For many people the problem can be emotional eating – where you overeat to “make it up” to yourself for feeling sad, tired, angry, lonely, bored, or if you suffer from stress and anxiety – some of these emotions, in turn, may stem from the way you feel about being overweight. For many people, particularly those with more serious eating disorders, adult eating habits stem from problems in childhood or adolescence. Hypnotherapy and hypnosis can help you to resolve these problems by looking at how your past affects your underlying beliefs about the way you are now and helping you to understand both your past and the present. Hypnosis is also used to encourage you to develop a clearer understanding of your current eating habits, and will give you new, healthier habits to replace them with, to help weight loss.
Following an episode of binge eating many people then seek to reverse the effects by fasting, exercising excessively or compulsively, using over the counter medicines – slimming pills, laxatives or diuretics – or vomiting. This is an extremely vicious circle; feeling bad, eating to feel better, feeling bad again because you have eaten so much, causing the cycle to start again; or using one of the methods set out above to “purge” yourself of the food intake, harming your physical health and making you feel miserable and bad again; so again you eat too much to “make yourself feel better” and so it goes on. Compulsive eating and binge eating are also a major factor in causing insomnia, and tiredness in turn can make you less able to cope with stress and anxiety. One of the reasons you may feel so bad when you have overeaten is that very often people who binge are concerned about weight gain; the fact that you have given in to compulsive eating means that weight gain is more likely, leading yet again to feelings of unworthiness, guilt and self-disgust. Control of what you eat is vital to good physical and mental health and hypnotherapy can help you take back that control and to attain the weight loss you desire, and along with it a fitter, healthier body that’s more comfortable to live in.
Maybe you have just fallen into a bad habit. Perhaps you were taught always to clear your plate, overeat merely out of habit, or binge only occasionally. You may have been eating a little bit too much for so long that you have forgotten to recognise the signs of being full, or you don’t stop because it is not physical hunger that you are trying to overcome; you are bored or worried, or are simply unthinkingly and absent mindedly reaching for just one more biscuit, piece of chocolate or slice of pizza. The section on weight loss gives more information on how hypnotherapy can help with overeating generally; where you have simply slipped into bad habits. Hypnosis can help with a goal-oriented approach. Where binge eating or compulsive eating is a more frequently occurring and serious problem, hypnotherapy can also look at the underlying causes, resolving these by counselling before going on to deal with the eating habits themselves.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy helps by reducing anxiety levels and helping the client bring about positive changes in those areas which are causing the underlying anxiety and/or depression and not focusing on the eating.
Contact me today If you would like to find out how I can help overcome your eating disorder.