Emotions and Eating
The way we feel about ourselves can affect the way that we eat. Sometimes when we feel miserable we may over eat for comfort; sometimes we can lose our appetite due to stress or because we stop caring about ourselves. Sometimes when life feels out of control we try to control our eating as a way of coping. If you have concerns – or other people have concerns – about your relationship with food, try asking yourself these questions.
- do you make yourself sick because you feel uncomfortably full?
- do you worry that you’ve lost control over how much you eat?
- have you recently lost more than 14lb/7kg in a 3 month period?
- do you believe yourself to be fat when others say that you are too thin?
- would you say that food dominates your life?
Anorexia – when you restrict your food intake or exercise obsessively to maintain an unhealthily low weight.
Bulimia – when you can maintain a normal weight, but have times of binge eating followed by making yourself sick or using laxatives.
beat are an organisation supporting people affected by eating disorders or difficulties with food, weight or shape. Their website b-eat.co.uk has information, useful downloads and message boards and offers online support from a worker. They also run a helpline for young people.
If you or someone that you know has a problem with eating and you want to talk to someone about this or ask about getting the right help, contact your doctor, or Young People’s Services at Clarence Street who offer a free and confidential counselling service about any issue. See here for more information. Remember, both men and women can develop eating disorders.