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Anyone with experience of eating disorders or psychology? something weird has crept up on me
I need some advice I think. Over the last few days I have noticed something that on reflection has been happening for some time. I eat so much and so fast until I can't catch my breath then I feel better or relieved. I feel full but I don't feel hungry when I eat like this. I notice it mostly when I am having a stressful time. Is it some weird habit or am I developing some sort of wierd eating disorder? I have never heard f anything like it and I am to aware of it's weirdness to talk to friends.
I ate half a packet of dry crackers with a whole block of brie stood up in my kitchen in the space of about 3 minutes. I dropped a bit on the floor. it didn't go in the bin it got picked up and went in my mouth. I had to sit down to catch my breath and then I felt fine again. I would liken the sesation to an adrenalin rush in sport. the moment you peak then suddenly feel relaxed
I do this too. It got really bad with me that it became a compulsion. I'm a lot better now but I know what you mean. Its like food has taken the place of something else and once your brain realises that it can get a boost from some food, albeit tempory, it tricks you into thinking that's what you really need, when it could be some other need (for me, it's often to feel loved, needed or good at something). Sorry, probably going a bit into this. Just wanted to let you know that you aren't on your own. It's pretty common actually.
Good start to notice what you're doing - I know none of the following is easy but try to
first of all keep a record of what you eat and anything you're feeling before or after you eat or anything that might have triggered it (this equips you to notice why its happening and start to predict when it might happen.
if there's any 'rituals' around the eating (e.g. you always wait til you're alone, you're always in a certain room, you always put the tv on etc etc) then try to 'set the environment different' (e.g. tell yourself you will only eat sitting at the table, put some upbeat music on - anything really to interrupt the ritual which otherwise allows you to 'tune out' of what you're doing and stops you being able to control it.
Make sure you eat regular normal meals, and enough for your requirements - diff. I know if dieting,but even though the kind of eating you describe sounds like its triggered by stress, dieting or restricting your eating is another trigger for over-eating.
Try to have a plan of other nurturing things to do when you feel this way - because eating is really nurturing, but obviously not helpful over the longer term if its in excess - have a bath, keep magazines you like to read around for these times, phone a friend (also a great way to interrupt the urge.)
Practice 'surfing the urge' - that is, the urge will get stronger and stronger and you'll feel like you have to give in to it, but in fact it will 'peak' and then recede if you practice waiting it out - after all, if you always give in before the 'peak' you'll never know if the urge would go or not iyswim. At the beginning you could try saying to yourself 'i'll have it in 5 mins if i still feel this way' and then try to lengthen the intervals and see what happens - this also allows you to tune into what you're doing, and means you're making a conscious choice to eat it, not just doing it almost in a trance.
hope some of this makes sense, and i know its not easy - the good news is that these techniques seem to work for the majority of people who give them a go - what you're describing is def not unusual, and doesn't sound severe, but I'd nip it in the bud if poss in case it becomes a way of coping with stress and anxiety, because in the longer term it can really affect self-esteem etc and gets to be a bit of a trap. hth x
Top advice Jiminycricket - especially about that desire to eat peaking and then receding - I've never thought of it like that before, but I think it's true so will give it a go myself as I to have a food thing going on which I hate and need to address. I have no desire to diet either, but just to eat when I actually need food, rather than every time my mind is not occupied by something other than eating iyswim. Thanks for that. It's clear this is an issue for a lot of people.
Jiminycrickets advice is very sound. Binge eating is often cyclical in that it can occur as a response to some kind of upset or at a particularly low moment. During the binge people say that it feels like a means of escaping these negative feelings. Afterwards they feel bad about themselves and what they've done, they feel low and the cycle begins all over again. They often diet because they feel guilty about the calories they have taken in but this just facilitates another binge because the dieting is unsustainable. The trick is to address the triggers for the bingeing and break the cyle in the way Jiminycricket described.