Our expert says:
Eating Disorders Expert
Hello “Super-sized Drama”
The fact that you eat in response to emotions is an important insight, but I very much doubt that it is confined to boredom.
Do you find that you eat in response to other emotions like sadness, anxiety, anger, loneliness or emotional emptiness (depression)?
It is very important for you to be able to identify when you are feeling these uncomfortable feelings, and recognize the important messages that they are relaying to you. For instance, all sadness signifies a loss, while all anxiety alerts us to danger.
When you can identify a feeling, you need to stay with it enough to be able to recognize the massage. You then need to respond to that message, which probably means that something needs to change.
For example, if you feel anxious, the danger might be that you are close to an exam and you need to start studying.
Okay, enough on that, but therapy does not gloss over this concept, but requires months to convert it into a well-oiled machine.
One thing I picked up in your question is that you have learned in your therapy about some of the important underlying issues relating to your disordered eating.
Although this is valuable, and normally the preoccupation of psychodynamic therapists, the most recommended modality of therapy for treating people with eating disorders (certainly initially) is cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), in which the therapy challenged dysfunctional belief systems and helps establish behaviour strategies to normalize healthy eating habits.
I, personally use this modality the most early in therapy and then proceed to other modalities/schools of thought in the latter phases of therapy to explore the underlying causes of the eating disorder.
In other words, there is a place for psychodynamic therapy, but in the right time. Used too early, and it can create so much anxiety that the eating disorder can erupt further. I also seldom proceed without the assistance of a professional registered dietician, who will provide an individualized meal plan to help eating feel safe.
I am not criticizing the value you might have taken from you therapy so far, but consider a therapy that will first help you to first change you eating habits.
If you are weighing 230 kilograms (whatever your height), you are possibly at great risk at developing serious medical risk conditions like diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) and hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol).
I suggest you see a medical doctor for a general check-up, if you have not already done so. If you are in Cape Town, email me for some recommended professionals. Hope that helps.
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