Alternative Outlets: Quelling Anxiety After Eating
Understanding Your Urges:
Eating disorders can come in many shapes and forms, all potentially life-threatening and involving varying degrees of emotional and physical problems. It is conceptualized that for some cases of individuals with eating disorders, these maladaptive habits develop as a coping mechanism for unsettled surroundings. Eating, or lack thereof, and binging/purging becomes something that they can control and take into their own hands.
These maladaptive eating patterns over time may lead to some serious medical issues, including malnutrition, organ damage, and infertility. Eating disorders are present in both men and women of all ages, but are particularly prevalent in teenagers and young adults. For many, an eating disorder can emerge in the form of feelings of extreme anxiety after eating.
Anxiety After Eating:
Anxiety can come on after eating for many reasons, with one unsuspecting reason being the physiological sensations of food being processed and digested. When food is being broken down by your body, it is working on overdrive to digest, leading your heart rate to elevate and the perception of anxiety. For those experiencing symptoms that are consistent with a binge eating disorder, anxiety after eating can come from internal guilt or shame following a binge.
This can manifest itself as Bulimia Nervosa, an eating disorder characterized by episodes of binging and purging. This is characterized by eating huge amounts of calories and then taking drastic measures to counteract the food, such as making yourself throw up or engaging in extreme amounts of exercise. While there are people that are aware of these tendencies, oftentimes those engaging in these behaviors may not recognize the underlying maladaptive pattern.
You Don't Have to Do It Alone:
While some people, through self-reflection and trial-and-error, can get their maladaptive eating patterns under control, many find it harder than anticipated to get these behaviors under control. While they may stick to healthy and normal eating for a while, they are vulnerable to relapse, especially under times of stress or conflict.
Living a healthy lifestyle means finding a balance and incorporating certain things into your routine and mindset that help you to feel less anxious about your eating habits. Online interfaces have emerged as an innovative solution to expanding mental health care access. BetterHelp, is one of these interfaces that seeks to connect those in need with appropriate licensed professionals.
What Can They Do:
Talking to a licensed professional can help you to identify these behavior patterns as well as what triggers them. This can help you know what ways are best for you to change your diet and how to successfully implement this treatment strategy to best assist you. Cognitive-behavior therapy, or CBT, is an intervention method aimed at establishing coping pathways in the brain by replacing maladaptive behaviors or thoughts.
Agreed upon as an effective method of treatment for eating disorders, it is aimed at addressing underlying misassumptions that lead one to have a morphed view of one's body or lack of control when eating. This method is something that can be introduced remotely and effectively by therapists, as they can help you to develop positive mindsets and coping mechanisms that you can begin to implement into your life. Halting the extreme patterns are the first step to recovery of an eating disorder, and working to replace them with a healthier diet or exercise routine.