Seed | Eating Disorder Support Service

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Breaking the pattern

What triggers a binge?

Keeping a diary can be very helpful when trying to identify the triggers that cause someone to binge, as well as helping you to work out how to bring the bingeing under control or have a degree of management over them.

For instance, binging is more likely:-

  • At certain times during the day.
  • Maybe alone in the home in the evening.
  • At certain times of the month. In a female this could be during the menstrual cycle.
  • During a particular season ? perhaps in the winter months.
  • During stressful periods at work, home or before exams.
  • When snack foods are around, like crisps, pastries, chocolate.
  • Whilst unpacking the weekly food shop.
  • In response to something disturbing, seen or read.
  • Ways of coping

    It may be difficult to cope with uncomfortable feelings without binging. If so, help should be sought and a support group may be helpful. Here are some ways to help control the urge to binge:-

  • If being alone is a trigger, try and leave the house, go for a walk or telephone a friend to at least delay the binge; do something enjoyable that is not associated with binging.
  • Being kind to oneself with a treat such as a massage or a favourite film.
  • Allow yourself to experience your feelings. Writing about experiences or drawing them will be helpful to a counsellor in interpreting expression.
  • Seeking inspiration in other peoples writing, painting and sayings.
  • Taking up a new interest, enrolling in an evening class or becoming a volunteer in a worthwhile charity can be so rewarding.
  • Feel Good About Yourself!
  • It is often so difficult to say something good about ourselves; some people only see their bad points. Try and identify just one small thing that you know you are good at. A good mum, a kind person, a good listener, sensitive or compassionate.
  • Build on that. If you do someone a good turn, feel proud. If you want to treat yourself, then do it! Why? Because you're worth it!

    The first step to recovery is to acknowledge there is a problem! This is the biggest step forward.

    Effort must be made to try and resolve the underlying emotional problems. Food can't simply be avoided and it is more likely someone will binge if they deprive themselves of emotional support.

    It is also medically unsafe to starve, binge and purge. Seek the support of your GP to monitor you physically. Ask for a referral to be made for emotional support and check out the services available via the local self help group.

    Finally, take each day as it comes. Recovery can take a long time. Make steps small and achievable. Don't set yourself up to fail by making your aims unrealistic. Focus on the positives and why it is important to you to get better.

    GOOD LUCK! Help is a telephone call away!

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