Not surprising, early child behavior studies have shown that infants tend to learn very quickly that eating makes pain and discomfort go away. That is because when infants cry out of hunger, they soon realize they feel better when they get fed; a simple conclusion (food equals relief) that stays with us all the way to adulthood and beyond.
Emotional addiction to eating is a recognized psychological disorder that results in the incessant and compulsive craving for food. This condition is not only evidenced by the excessive intake of food, but also by the craving for foods that are themselves unhealthy. Some observers have insisted that up to 15% of adults become addicted to fast food because of obsessive and compulsive behavior patterns.
While the medical community has acknowledged the addictive dangers associated with alcoholism and drug abuse, few studies have given as much acceptance to the fact that people may be addicted to food in the same dangerous way. For example, people with an emotional addiction to eating will eat when they are sad, worried or depressed, irrespective of whether they are actually hungry. Eating to excess is a common feature and often results in an assortment of unhealthy consequences such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Yet the person addicted to eating will continue to obsess and overeat despite knowing the adverse consequences to their health.
People with food addictions are often trapped in a dangerous cycle of binge eating and depression. It is often used to cover up painful feelings, stress, worries and escalated levels of anxiety. Many compulsive overeaters speak of their eating as a way of suppressing the stress, worry, and depression. Treatment Options
Many patients have found relief through group, family and individual counseling programs. With professional counseling, many areas of the individual's emotional life are explored in a supportive context. Therapy is usually combined with nutritional guidance, exercise and education and is by far the safest and healthiest approach to reducing weight.
Those compulsive eaters who are also obese have turned to surgical procedures that end up reducing the actual size of the upper stomach through the use of a ringed clamp device. The surgery ends up causing a profound and exaggerated sense of fullness when eating. The ring limits and controls the amount of food a person can eat. As a result, patients experience the sensation of fullness and are satisfied with much smaller amounts of food.
Finally, those with eating disorders and addictions have turned to pharmaceutical options in the hope of controlling their food urges and compulsions. However, both over-the-counter and medically prescribed diet pills represent the least desirable alternative for weight control.
Diet pills increase anxiety levels, which for certain types of obsessive eaters can turn a bad situation even worse. Anxiety can cause depression and depression is what often generates compulsive eating. Many mental health professionals therefore believe that certain types of anti-depressants can be much more helpful in reducing the types of depression and anxiety that is believed to be a major cause of emotional addiction to food. For more information and advice on how to manage emotional upset, stress, worry and depression, contact a therapist or counselor at http://www.gottrouble.com/trouble-talk-expert-advice/stress-worry.html