Food addiction is a viable affliction which is many times caused by trauma. We can never determine exactly how we are going to respond to trauma which occurs in our lives much in the same way that we struggle to determine when, where, or how trauma will occur in our lives. Our trauma may have nothing to do with food or eating. However, the way we find ourselves capable of coping with our trauma might have to do with food. Certain food types, certain food tastes, certain food textures, or even just the act of eating food in itself, becomes an addiction.
When someone who has survived trauma finds comfort, solace, or a way to cope in a substance or behavior, they become attached to that sense of safety and security. Food, for many people, is a source of comfort. After all, there is an entire category of food called “comfort food”. Chemically, eating food is incredibly satisfying. At the core, we need food for survival. Eating food literally feeds our deepest and most basic need as a human being. In more complex needs, foods fill us with desire, excitement, lust, desire, cravings, and even disgust. Food is a visceral, sensory experience which can overwhelm our senses. Trauma is also a visceral, sensory experience which can overwhelm our senses. When the experience of food overpowers the sometimes very painful experience of trauma, it can become a much-sought-after form of coping.
Having an uncontrollable obsession over eating and an irresistible compulsive urge to eat, despite any negative circumstances which might result are signs of a food addiction. Addictions build by repeating behaviors over and over again while more meaning is created through chemical dependency in the brain. The brain doesn’t necessarily become chemically dependent on food but on the release of pleasurable brain chemicals which happens when food is consumed. Eventually, the brain both literally and metaphorically sees food as a means of survival.
If someone has an addiction to a specific kind of food, they can experience symptoms of withdrawal when they aren’t feeding their addiction. Futurity recently reported on a study conducted by the University of Michigan in the US which found that quitting junk food can result in similar withdrawal symptoms as quitting an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Quitting a food addiction is more than chemical withdrawal. There is an entire way of living which has to be recovered- life before food addiction and life before a trauma.
Trauma is most often the root cause of many emotional, behavioral, and mood disorders. Until you can heal your trauma, you will find great difficulty finding the healing you need to live a life of recovery, health, and wellness. At Khiron House, we provide effective residential treatment and cutting edge therapies which seek to transform mind, body, and spirit from the effects of trauma. Call us today for information. UK: 020 3811 2575 (24 hours) USA: (866) 801 6184 (24 hours).