When Binge Eating Is Used as A Coping Mechanism
When binge eating is your coping mechanism, suffering trauma can trigger devastating binges. Although the conclusion to binge eat following upsetting events might follow naturally to someone who suffers from binge eating disorder, this is not a viable coping skill and will only lead to more problems.
Binge Eating Is A Negative Coping Mechanism After Trauma
Last week I was sexually assaulted. Amid the confusion, pain, and anger that follows a sexual assault, I started to binge eat as a coping mechanism (Effect of Sexual Assault on Women Sexual Assault Victims). It started that whenever I was alone, I would overfill my gastric sleeve until it hurt. Then I started doing it at almost every meal, whether I was alone or not.
At such a difficult time, my positive coping mechanisms deserted me and I went with my old standby, binge eating. I knew it wasn't healthy, I knew it wasn't going to help, but I couldn't stop myself from just going to the fridge, taking out whatever was in it and finishing it off, no matter how uncomfortable or sick I felt (The Low Point Of My Binge Eating Disorder).
What Can You Do When You Use Binge Eating as A Coping Mechanism?
What stopped me from using binge eating as a coping mechanism was to reach out to others and use my binge eating support system. Trying to deal with trauma on my own is part of why I turned to food to cope. I wasn't getting the support I needed and I felt isolated in addition to everything else that was going on.
A combination of talking to friends, seeing my therapist, and getting a brief reprieve from graduate school class work helped me to refocus, take stock of what I experienced and stop using binge eating as coping mechanism. I also decided to do something I've been wanting to do for a while and shaved my head. I did some other forms of binge eating disorder self-care as well to help me cope without food.
Positive Coping Mechanisms Will Yield Better Results than Binge Eating
When a trauma first happens, reverting to harmful coping mechanisms, such as binge eating, can seem like the natural choice. When I was coming to terms with what happened to me, nothing could have stopped me from binge eating. But this was not a long-term solution to what I was going through. There are no easy answers when you experience trauma in your life. However, binge eating is not the only way to deal with it.
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LaBranche, S. (2016, February 11). When Binge Eating Is Used as A Coping Mechanism, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, March 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/bingeeatingrecovery/2016/02/when-binge-eating-is-used-as-a-coping-mechanism
Author: Star LaBranche
Hope your recovery goes well. Society is getting stranger. I don't discuss my anxiety disorder to anyone anymore. Just not too much trust out there.