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Compulsive eating may be used to relieve disconnection

To understand any form of disordered eating [binge eating, compulsive eating, restriction, dietary rules etc] we need to have a basic understanding of its development so we can understand why we use this behaviour and reduce shame associated with it [that doesn’t mean we need to root around around in the past if that doesn’t feel safe or necessary].

We know the cause of disordered eating is often multifactorial.

Disordered eating is often a symptom of an individual's core needs not being met, a sign that someone is not coping. A message that cannot be expressed another way.

When an individual is feeling a deep sense of disconnect from the self, others and the world, when they are struggling, they will find whatever way they can to survive; to cope with the pain and panic they may be feeling.

For some individuals that may be food, or restriction. For others that may be drugs, alcohol, work, porn, shopping, gambling, social media, shopping or busyness.

These behaviours offer a temporary sense of relief and a false sense of connection, making life seem more manageable.

Healing is a process.

Healing involves reconnecting to the body and to the present moment.

Healing involves learning that these behaviours are survival mechanisms, adaptive coping strategies and releasing any shame attached to needing to turn to them at a point of struggle.

Healing involves being allowed to safely feel pain. To honour its existence.

Healing involves acceptance of wounds.

Healing involves creating safe spaces and reliable relationships.

Healing involves learning new healthy ways to cope.

Healing involves learning how to regulate the nervous system.

Healing involves solitude and play.

Healing and safety are found in connection,

connection to the body,

connection to the self,

connection to others,

connection to the present moment,

connection to the world.

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