Monday, October 29, 2012


Changing the way we heal Panic and Anxiety online

Tips for Overcoming Emotional Eating
Everyone overeats sometimes, especially during the holidays or on joyous occasions like weddings, birthdays, and vacations. Also, many people tend to overeat during times of stressful times, such as studying for exams. Sometimes, the urge to overeat can get out of control, leading to a disorder called binge-eating or compulsive eating disorder. Although binge eaters rely on food to give them comfort, and help them cope with intense or negative emotions, but their compulsive overeating only ends up making them feel worse, and often leads to weight gain.

Although it may not be talked about as often, compulsive overeating is actually more common than bulimia or anorexia. Unlike other eating disorders, which occur predominantly in women, binge eating disorder affects a significant number of men.

Tell-Tale Signs of Compulsive Overeating

While a typical binge eating episode often lasts a few hours, some people binge on and off all day long, especially when no one is watching. You may be a binge eater if you frequently find yourself:

• Eating even when you are not hungry and long after you are full.

• Gorging yourself as fast as you can, without consciously acknowledging what you are eating or tasting.

• Feeling extremely disturbed or upset during or after an eating binge.

• Hiding or stockpiling food to eat later in secret.

Most people with compulsive eating disorder will often experience feelings of guilt, and depression. They are anxious about the negative effects their compulsive eating will have on their bodies and health, and while they desperately want to stop binge eating, they feel powerless to change their behavior.

Ten Tips for Overcoming Binge Eating Behavior

Fortunately, like all habitual behavior, binge eating can be cured by developing new habits. Here are ten tips for overcoming compulsive eating disorder.

1. Avoid Temptation. Turn off the urge to binge by separating yourself from away the stimulus – food! Try not to store too much food in the house, particularly foods that you like to binge on. Don’t tempt yourself by going to the grocery store hungry and when you are shopping, remember to avoid the junk food aisles and turn your back on the rows of candy bars at the check-out counter.

2. Exercise. Physical activity is the healthiest way to reduce stress and combat the negative emotions that often lead to compulsive overeating. Besides improving your overall physical health, the natural mood-boosting effects of exercise can decrease your desire to binge.

3. Destress. Finding healthy ways to reduce your stress level will help you to avoid overeating as a way of relieving tension caused by stress. Some ways to do this are: paring down your to-do list, learning to say no, and taking control of your environment by turning off stress-inducing stimuli such as disturbing TV shows.

4. Eat Breakfast. Starting off the morning with a nourishing breakfast will give you the fuel you need to get your day off to a good start. If you eat a satisfying meal in the morning, it is likely that you will not experience the cravings that come from low blood sugar, and often lead to compulsive eating.

5. Don’t Go On a Deprivation Diet. Be sure to eat regular meals throughout the day. Self-starvation will actually increase your compulsive tendency to overeat. When primitive people had to go long periods without eating, their natural response to food was to eat everything in sight as a survival method. When modern people go too long without eating, they reactivate that same primal response.

6. Phone a friend. Whenever you feel the urge to binge, satisfy that urge by calling a close friend or family member that is sympathetic to your situation. Even though it may be hard at first to open up and admit that you have a compulsive overeating problem, don’t be ashamed. Everyone has struggles in life and the people who care about you will want to help, so let them!

7. Get Socially Involved. Most binge eating is spurred by a negative emotion such as anxiety or stress. When they don’t have anyone to vent that emotion with in a healthy way, binge eaters turn to food for comfort. By getting involved in a sport, club, hobby, or volunteer effort, you will meet other people, decrease your loneliness, and alleviate the negative emotions that lead to binge behavior.

If you try all seven of these steps, and none of them work for you, you may want to consider seeking professional help. Compulsive overeating can be successfully treated with therapy that can teach you how to fight the compulsion to binge, gain more awareness of the relationship between your moods and your eating habits, exchange unhealthy habits for healthy ones, and develop effective stress-reduction techniques.

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Overcoming Depression
Statistically, approximately 1 out of 8 people suffer from depression in the course of their lives. Depression can be related to stressful life events like the loss of a loved one. It can be a long term but mild depression, or it can manifest as a severe depression that renders a person, unable to get out of the bed in the morning. If you have ever suffered from depression, you know that regardless of its form it makes many aspects of your life more challenging.

Situational Depression

If you are experiencing a depression as the result of the loss of your job or the loss of a loved one, your depression will likely pass in 8-12 weeks. During this time, it is important to gather support and give yourself time to feel your feelings. If you know someone who is going through a difficult time you can help them understand the importance of doing the things on this list:

1. Make sure that other people know how you are feeling. Don't assume that they know how badly you are feeling just because they know the situation.

2. Ask them to check in with you. It is crucial that you give your support people this instruction. They may not be certain how to support you.

3. Be as clear as you can be about what helps. Do you need them to just listen? Do you need them to stay even if you don't pay any attention to them? Let them know how they can be there for you.

4. Don't isolate. If you are thinking that you really just want to be left alone, this is often a symptom of how you are feeling. People are very important to help you move through this situational depression.

5. Take care of yourself. Make a list of things you used to do to take care of yourself when you were not feeling so sad. Do one of these things each day.

For those who are suffering from moderate and especially from severe depression, doing what you might intellectually know is the best for you, in this condition, often seems impossible. You will benefit from support the same way that someone with a situational depression might but you will also need to try additional tools.

1. Get professional support. If you have been suffering from depression or think that you might be suffering from it, consult a qualified professional. Many factors can contribute to your depression, and a professional will be best able to determine which interventions will be best.

2. Make a list. Make a list of things you used to do for enjoyment when you are not depressed. Do one of these things each day.

3. Get moving. Push yourself to make your bed and get dressed. Although you might resist the very thought, taking care of business does really help you feel better.

4. Know that you can get through this. Depression can lead us to believe that we will always be depressed. This is not true. You can overcome your depression or find ways to maintain a depression free state.

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