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Please advise, anxiety, binge eating, food obsession

(12 Posts)
Vampirelover Sun 12-Nov-17 14:58:32

I'm late 30s and never had any major mental health difficulties in the past. Always had some small weight issues - prone to gaining weight but able to lose it ok.
I put on loads during pregnancy, lost 2 stone over time but am now back up to the highest weight (nearly 4 stone overweight)
I've been single for 3 years from an EA marriage. XH is a massive source of anxiety for me, we have DCs so I have to deal with him. This seemed to coalesce 18 months ago when he did something risky and I just lost the plot. I also got some bad news unrelated to him.
I was really low in mood for 6 months or so but sort of came out of it and thought I was ok. But I realised for the whole time I've been low level anxious and low in mood and I'm just totally obsessed with food and eating. I'm lonely and bored at home (despite being really busy with work) but basically I over eat because I'm bored, food is my only 'reward', and because I'm trying to dampen down my anxiety.
I used to exercise but haven't been able to for the last 6 months or more because of lack of motivation. All I can think about is what I'm going to eat next. I have heartburn and a full stomach and I don't want to eat anything but I also want to.

So basically I am low in mood (but probably not clinically depressed) anxious (which I manage through over eating) and binge eating as a reward and self medicating.

I feel loads of shame over my weight as well as feeling physically constricted by it, as my belly is getting huge and even sitting cross legged is awkward.

I need...I don't know what I need. Ironically I do know a fair bit about mental health treatments due to work and would advise someone in my position to request CBT but I'm really anxious about having to face my issues so that's freaking me out too!

I'm also wondering if I should consider anti-depressants. A low dose of sertraline may help with the anxiety and low mood and maybe the urge to binge. Does anyone have any experience? I would ask for CBT too. Or any other advice? I'm a bit desperate.

Thank you in advance!

Bombardier25966 Sun 12-Nov-17 15:05:24

It comes across not so much that you're obsessed but that you've nothing else to do with your time. Food fills the boredom. Think of things to occupy yourself, keep your hands busy, and other ways to treat yourself.

Vampirelover Sun 12-Nov-17 15:09:01

Thanks but that's not really it. I have lots to do, I work 2 jobs and a single mum so I'm busy from morning until I go to bed.
I'm not sure what else I could find to treat myself with, I want to get to a point where I don't feel like I need to treat myself with something to make myself feel better

sortingmyselfoutslowly Sun 12-Nov-17 17:51:05

Maybe try to break the habit of eating by having a cup of tea instead? Do you have low calorie snacks available at home like plain popcorn, bread sticks and fresh fruit? You could keep a food diary and identify when you're actually hungry and when it's emotional eating.

OliviaBenson Sun 12-Nov-17 18:06:10

Tablets might help get you into a place to break the cycle. But also you are likely to be more receptive to counselling too, which I think you need.

Well done for recognising it op - that's half the battle x

sortingmyselfoutslowly Sun 12-Nov-17 18:16:40

Also I've been taking sertraline for a week and my appetite is much smaller. If you are feeling anxious it will make you feel better (ithe works for most people) within 4-6 weeks most probably. However it made me feel much worse before I started feeling better last time I took it and I'm suffering from bad side effects this time too. It takes perseverance to keep going.

BifsWif Sun 12-Nov-17 18:47:35

I agree that low dose antidepressants would be a good starting point. When you’re not feeling so low and anxious, you can start thinking about CBT and dealing with your issues around overeating.

Good luck OP, the hardest part sometimes is recognising that you need a little help x

Vampirelover Sun 12-Nov-17 20:15:43

Thanks folks.
I really think I need a low dose of ssri but I need a push to make the appointment.
I'm really self aware grin but there is a huge huge difference between knowing what your issues are and doing something about it!

merrykate Mon 13-Nov-17 03:26:10

I'm going to the doctors on Tuesday to request antidepressants to lift my mood and hopefully curb my binge eating. I'll let you know what they recommend!

If this is the only thing standing in your way just try and be brave and book the appointment. I hate going to the doctors but we all need a little help sometimes. Be kind to yourself.

Vampirelover Mon 13-Nov-17 04:36:01

Thanks Kate. I'm going to call the GP and make an appointment. Just writing it down here helped to make my mind clearer about what's wrong.

Vampirelover Mon 13-Nov-17 04:36:36

Meant to add good luck and I hope you have success. Are you going to ask for CBT as well?

merrykate Tue 14-Nov-17 13:36:22

I bottled it and cancelled the appointment. Standard behaviour for me! Well done to you for making an appointment. I hope it helps. I'm on a 5 month waiting list for counselling anyway. Take care of yourself. X

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