Eating disorders can include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. Anorexia sufferers tend to starve themselves and exercise excessively until they can achieve as low a weight as possible. Bulimia sufferers tend to binge eat and then purge themselves afterwards when they feel guilty or ashamed by their binge eating. Binge eating disorder causes people to have periods where they will eat vast amounts of food in one sitting. They often eat even when they are not hungry, as they have no control over their eating habits.
There are many reasons a person will develop an eating disorder, but evidence suggests there is a strong link between eating disorders and substance abuse. Those who abuse drugs or alcohol are more likely to suffer from eating disorders.
Actress and TV personality Denise Welch has spoken out about how, when trying to beat her addiction to alcohol, she began binge eating and was left struggling with a food addiction. While trying to resist the urge to drink, she started bingeing in secret; has now overcome her food addiction though and credits cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as the tool that helped her beat her demons.
Denise has now lost two stone and said of CBT: It completely changed everything for me. Everything. I learned to pause before eating and ask myself if I was really hungry or whether I was just tired, stressed, in need of comfort.
Denise said her relationship with food changed and she got in touch with her reasons for eating.
Denise gave birth to her son Matty when she was in her thirties, and she says that the frightening lows she suffered after the birth accelerated her struggles with alcohol. She went on to say, I believe I was attempting to medicate against crippling depression.
When Denise decided to quit alcohol, she suddenly began experiencing sugar cravings that she had never had before. It was not long before she was piling on the weight. She said, I realised I was beginning to replace alcohol with food. It was classic cross addiction.
Denise was aware that while it is possible to give up alcohol, it is not feasible to do the same with food and knew she had to learn how to relate to food before she became obese. She joined a weight loss group that used CBT. Cognitive behavioural therapy is commonly used to treat mental health problems such as depression and is widely employed in the treatment of addictions including alcohol, drug and smoking addictions. In fact, Denise says she used the CBT techniques that she learned to help her quit smoking as well.
Denise admits that she has felt like lapsing, but the techniques she has learned have helped her to deal with these lapses in a positive manner. She often thought to herself that when she felt like having a biscuit or a cigarette she would tell herself that no one is going to know; on this point she added, Then I would ask myself: But am I going to feel less stressed if I eat the biscuit or smoke the cigarette? The answer is no. Am I going to feel happy within myself? No.
She now believes that she will be able to stay on the straight and narrow with the help of the CBT techniques that have changed her way of thinking. She says that since she has quit drinking, drugs and cigarettes she is happier than she has ever been.
Help for Addiction
Denise has used cognitive behavioural therapy to help with her food addiction as well as to quit smoking. This type of therapy is widely used and has been proven to work with many types of addiction. If you or a loved one needs help for addiction, call Rehab Helper today we can refer you to a suitable treatment provider from where you can get help for your addiction.