Binge Eating Disorder and Coping With Anxiety
In my experience, anxiety and binge eating disorder (BED) go hand-in-hand. Through years of treatment, I have learned how to manage my anxiety and properly and to use positive coping skills which have freed me from the need to binge eat. I've found you can cope with anxiety with binge eating disorder.
How Anxiety Led Me to Binge Eating
Over the years, I have come to believe my binge eating disorder began as a result of undiagnosed anxiety (Anxiety Causes: What Causes Anxiety?). I was 14 years old, home alone all the time, and had no one to talk to about my problems. I knew of no way to deal with challenging emotions which, in turn, created a great deal of anxiety. Without knowledge of positive ways to cope with the anxiety, I found comfort in food.
I vividly remember walking in the door from school everyday, dropping my bag, and heading straight to the fridge, barely being able to wait for the first bite of food to hit my mouth. Every time anxiety struck, I ate. Soon I began to mistake anxiety for hunger. I truly believed I was hungry, when, in reality, I was anxious. If I would have known then how to be in tune with my emotions, I would have realized this. As a young girl, with no support, this seemed nearly impossible.
Recognizing Anxiety Reduces Binge Eating Triggers
After going through years of treatment for my binge eating disorder and anxiety, I am able to have a genuine relationship with my emotions. I am able to recognize them, feel them, and cope with whatever they may bring. When I notice anxiety rising and want to run to the food, I am able to pause. When paused, I take a deep breath and ask myself what I am really hungry for. What am I trying to avoid? What am I trying not to feel?
Coping Skills for Binge Eating and Anxiety
If I cannot sense the answers during this pause, I journal, draw, or move. I do something which allows me to release whatever is going on inside. Most times after using one or two mental health coping skills, I feel better. I no longer feel the need to binge. It is amazing.
Knowing that I do not need to binge in order to cope with my anxiety is extremely freeing (Recognizing and Managing Your Anxiety). Though difficult at first, all the hard work has more than paid off. We can all get to this place once we have a toolbox filled with positive coping skills. These skills can be writing, art, or talking to a friend. All are valuable. Different things work for different people. Sometimes you have to try many things until you find what works for you.
Keep the coping going, all the hard work will pay off. Keep pushing fighters, in time you will find a life free of binge eating. This life will offer more than you can even imagine. Trust me when I say, you are completely deserving of it.
Bialka, G. (2016, September 4). Binge Eating Disorder and Coping With Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, August 7 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/bingeeatingrecovery/2016/09/binge-eating-disorder-anxiety-and-coping