Food Addiction Counselling

Many of you might believe that there is no such thing as food addiction because people need to eat to survive, right? However, people eat for reasons beyond survival; when sad, stressed or bored, sometimes just for sheer pleasure.

For many people, food can become as addictive as other more dangerous substances. Recent studies show that foods rich in fat, sugar, and/or salt create feelings of pleasure and satisfaction.

Food addicts depend on the pleasure they get from eating certain foods, which triggers the need to eat more, even when not hungry. As the person continues eating foods that make them feel good, they often eat more than is necessary for normal nutrition. This can have severe emotional, physical and social consequences.

Eating disorders such as food addiction are serious mental illnesses. If you believe that you or a loved one suffers from food addiction, it’s important to seek professional help.

food addiction, over eating hamburgers

Food Addiction Causes

Several factors which may contribute to food addiction include:

Psychological and biological reasons:

  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Brain structure abnormalities
  • Medication side effects
  • Emotional or sexual abuse
  • Victim or survivor of a traumatic event
  • Inability to cope with stressful situations
  • Low self-esteem
  • Grief or loss

Social reasons:

  • Dysfunctional family
  • Peer or societal pressure
  • Isolation
  • Abuse
  • Lack of social support
  • Stressful life events

Often a person with an eating disorder such as food addiction may be diagnosed with another mental health issue. However early diagnosis and intervention can reduce the severity and duration of the illness.

Signs and Symptoms of Food Addiction

Signs someone may have a food addiction include:

  • Eating more food than a person can tolerate
  • Eating to the point of feeling ill
  • Going to great lengths to get certain types of foods
  • Continue eating, even if not hungry
  • Eating in secret
  • Avoiding social interactions, or other people just to stay home and eat
  • Chronic fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating and sleep disorders
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Headaches
  • Digestive disorders
  • Suicidal ideation

Treatment and Recovery

If you or a loved one suffers from food addiction, help is available. Treatment approaches vary depending on the needs of the individual, including the severity of the disorder.

Recovery may involve overcoming physical, mental and emotional barriers to establish normal eating habits, thoughts and behaviours. Recovery is different for everyone. However, the sooner you start treatment the shorter the recovery process will be.

Psychological Health Care offers counselling and support to help you overcome food addiction. We invite you to book an appointment with us for a confidential consultation.