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Eating related difficulties

It would be so much easier, if I didn’t have to be faced with food everyday”.

Expressing, and/or coping, with your psychological emotional difficulties through food and eating is now well known in most circles. People often work hard to hide their problems from others. This way of coping can range from not eating sufficiently, restricting your intake, only eating certain foods, at certain times, under specific conditions, binging, bulimia, anorexia, etc. The level of eating problems or problems with food may/may not reach a diagnosis of an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Such problems can affect men and women, at any age and from any background. However, such difficulties can cause such a toll on you, your body and your relationships.

Like with any coping mechanism, there is the possibility of change. Finding other, more helpful, ways to cope is the first step, with the eventual aim of allowing yourself to face the hard-to-cope-with issues, e.g., from your family when you were growing up, whether that be specific traumas or issues within the relationship with your main parent(s)/ main caregivers. There may be no-one at fault or to blame. There can be many different factors. We all try our best but, sometimes, there is a clash of styles, or ways of being, that lead to interactional and psychological difficulties.

As a first step, you and your Clinical Psychologist can reach an individualised Formulation of your eating difficulties. A Formulation is an understanding of what led you to have your problems and what keeps them going. This can then help to decide on the plan for therapy.

Given that many people feel out of control with their eating, or have other issues related to control, a helpful aim would be for you to be able to feel ok about any therapy you agree to start on; to be able to talk at some point fully, including about your concerns regarding therapy (both at the start and as therapy progresses).

Written by © Dr Jurai Darongkamas, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, (with over 35 years’ experience). The above has been written to provide a brief overview for the reader. It should not be used as a basis for any action until after obtaining a professional opinion about your unique difficulties, strengths, circumstances, life history, etc.



Clinical Psychology Service