Friday, June 21, 2013

Depression and Overeating - How to Break the Cycle

There is a real link between depression and overeating.  For some people depression is a chemical imbalance.  Medication (along with therapy if needed) can remedy that issue.  But for most people depression is a symptom of not addressing unwanted stress or emotions.

When these unwanted emotions come up; food can be an effective numbing agent.  It literally pushes the emotion away.  But the kicker is that it takes energy to keep these emotions at bay.  So not only is there weight gain; but energy is being used to "depress" emotions.  When a person continues to do this; a state of depression occurs.

The cycle can also occur first with depression.  When a person is depressed they may use food to comfort themselves.  This then leads to further depression and deepens the need to use food to feel good.

When so much energy is being used to numb emotions; you literally have nothing left to give to your life, yourself, or your family.  This is common among people who suffer from binge eating and emotional eating.

But the good news is that this type of depression can be reversed!  When you begin to face the emotions you fear; you free up energy to live your life.  The depression begins to dissipate.  They key is to continue being strong enough to deal with emotions and situations in a healthy way and to stop overeating.  

Ideas to help you get started:

1-Ask a higher power for help and assistance (God, universe, whatever you believe in).

2-Begin using a journal to express your emotions rather than turning to food.

3-Address the situation that is causing you stress (either through writing or speaking with the person).

4-Pay attention to your self-talk and make sure it is positive.  (You could use affirmations or afformations to help you accomplish this.)

It is easy to revert back to using food to cope.  And in so doing; the depression can creep back in.  The first thing that people tend to do is throw in the towel and continue doing what has been familiar to them in the past.  But don't let any setbacks keep you from releasing yourself from this self-imposed depression.  Be brave enough to face your fears!  You can break the cycle.  

Remember: mistakes are bound to happen; that doesn't mean you have to continue it the rest of your life.  Don't beat yourself up about them; that will only keep you stuck.  Make the choice to face stress and emotions in a healthy way and stay positive.  You can do it!

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