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Binge and Emotional Eating

Food meets our most basic need for fuel, but it can also become a substitution for other needs that are more emotional. Most people have experienced positive feelings associated with food, such as soothing, love, and celebration; however when someone struggles with emotional eating, they often struggle with using food to cope with much deeper emotions. Emotional eating allows the person to experience numbing, or even a sense of control over feelings that seem intolerable.

In the recovery process, individuals with Binge Eating Disorder must be given the opportunity to reconnect with their emotions, and feel safe to experience and express them rather than seeking numbing through food behaviors. Treatment is vital in helping individuals differentiate between emotional and physical hunger, and learn to soothe and feed themselves emotionally as well as physically.

Individuals with Binge Eating Disorder have episodes of binge eating at least once a week. However, they may binge eat more often -- even daily. The individual will consume a larger amount of food than normal during a short period of time. They often feel “out of control” when engaged in the binge, feeling they cannot stop themselves from eating.

Teens and adults with Binge Eating Disorder may also exhibit the following behaviors:

  • Eating very quickly

  • Eating until uncomfortably full or physically sick

  • Low self esteem, feeling disgusted with self

  • Hiding or stockpiling food

  • Avoiding eating with others

  • Difficulty identifying hunger and satiety

  • Socially withdrawn, avoiding events or activities

  • Depression and apathy

  • Anxiety

                                                                                                                                 Each individual has unique issues that they are facing. I offer specialized treatment designed to teens and adults in the Kansas City and Lawrence area with Binge Eating Disorder heal physically and emotionally. My approach is tailored to start where you are, and meet your unique needs in our work together.

Learn more about my philosophy and approach

© 2018 Kirsten Oelklaus, LSCSW, CEDS

8400 W. 110th St. Suite 610

Overland Park, KS 66210

913.631.3800 ex 107

kirsten.oelklaus@gmail.com

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