Emotional Eating Disorder

An emotional eating disorder is the same as an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Food is the drug of choice and getting a fix is all important to  try to stuff down the feelings that you don't want to feel.

When an overwhelming emotion surfaces you just have to eat and most people feel powerless over this. Then when you eat more than you should you feel regret and self loathing. Does this sound familiar?

Start here by taking our emotional eating quiz to determine if you do have an emotional disorder and to take the first steps.

The start of your emotional eating disorder

emotional eating disorder

Can you determine the time when food switched from being a physiological need to a psychological need? Most people can. It may be after a painful divorce, separation, a move a change of schools. it's important to get in touch with that period in your life and remember what was going on and how you felt.

When I was young my dad left and came back 10 times over many years. My mom didn't know what to do. (This was during the 60s when very few people got divorced.) I am the youngest of 5 kids and we had to stuff down our pain and any feelings and act as if everything was ok. Another habit of those times.

It wasn't until I was 30 that I went to see a spiritual healer. She explained to me that I had taken a decision at that time. I put up walls around me and I became painfully shy. I told myself, "If I don't let anyone get close to me I can't be hurt."

When she told me that I burst into tears. I had always wondered where my shyness came from and now that I knew, I was then able to start letting go of it, bit by bit.

When we have these, Ah Ha moments, a profound shift can take place. Can you go back and figure out exactly what was going on when you started to use food as a source of comfort? What was causing the pain in your life that started your emotional eating disorder?

In what area of your life do you feel powerless?

According to Dr. Roger Gould, author of the book, Shrink Yourself, Break free from emotional eating forever, the reason why it's so hard to break free from emotional eating is because you feel powerless.

  1. You feel powerless about how to deal with your self doubts.
  2. You feel powerless about how to get real satisfaction in  life.
  3. You feel powerless to insure your own safety.
  4. You feel powerless to appropriately assert your independence.
  5. You feel powerless to fill yourself up when you feel empty inside. 1

Which one(s) sound right for you? You are really not powerless, but instead, are needlessly giving away the power you do have over your control of yourself and your life.

Once you realize that, your emotional eating disorder will be controlled and you’ll reclaim your power in your relationship to food and increase your power in all areas of your life.

In short, eating protects you from the feelings that you don’t want to feel.

If you didn’t have your weight to think about, you might have to think about what’s really bothering you, and that’s very frightening. When you use food as comfort you’re reverting back to the powerless feelings of being a child. It’s time to choose to face the feelings and hear what they have to say to you. 2.

Continue reading more about emotional eating treatment.

You might also enjoy this article about how to boost self esteem 

or compulsive emotional eating 

Return from emotional eating disorder to weight gain causes

Return from emotional eating disorder to Home Page 


1. Gould, Roger, M.D., Shrink Yourself, Break free from emotional eating forever (Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2007) 20-21.

2. Gould, Roger, M.D., Shrink Yourself, Break free from emotional eating forever (Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2007) 27-28.

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