In recent years, there have been extensive researches being conducted on the relationship between anxiety and eating disorders. Psychologists have termed this correlation as eating anxiety.
According to recent research, anxiety affects two things in you:
- How much you eat
- Whether you will eat or not
Therefore, the amount of food consumed depends on whether you are anxious or not. For some people, anxiety comes along with binge eating. For others, seeing some food makes them anxious, and therefore unable to eat.
Furthermore, it has also been proven that munching on some foods makes people nervous. Owing to these facts, you can conclude that eating disorders and anxiety are related. They are two inseparable aspects of human survival.
What foods cause anxious? This is a common question that scientists are tirelessly seeking to answer.
What is anxiety?
This is a psychiatric disorder where one suffers from extreme fear or worry. This may come along with panics, social anxiety, phobias, stress, depression and compulsive behavior.
However, you should understand that everyone gets anxious at one time or the other. This is known as occasional anxiety. This form is considered normal by psychiatrists.
However, there are times when anxiety becomes uncontrollable, persistent and overwhelming. In such a case, this form comes along with abnormal behavior such as munching so much or so little. This form of anxiety, in most cases, is associated with depression.
In extreme cases, one anxiety considered to have a mental disorder. Usually, one feels sad, hopeless, disinterested, discouraged and unmotivated. One of the coping mechanisms to it is overdoing things. For example, some people engage in binge munching.
Anxiety eating disorder
Have you ever heard about anxiety overeating or depression eating? These are eating disorders that are attributed to anxiety. In the real sense, these disorders have become a common phenomenon in the current society, especially among the youth and teenagers.
Let us, therefore, looks at the relationship between anxiety and food in two dimensions:
- The relationship between overeating (binge eating) and anxiety
- Whether eating can make someone anxious
Research has shown a close connection between being anxious and binge eating. This condition is a life-threatening condition, just like other chronic diseases. If you are having this condition, you develop an unsatisfied appetite for food.
Binge eating because of being anxious
Past research has shown that people eat more when they are anxious. This is known as this is a disorder or condition is known as binge eating disorder (BED).
Do you ever lose control of how much you eat, especially when anxious? This is an indication that you are having BED. In the world, about 5 % of the total population experience this problem when anxious. Statistics indicate that BED is the worst eating disorder across the globe.
There are many things that make us anxious. To some people are the troubles of life and its many uncertainties. To other people could be due to social events or happenings. Anxiety causes worry and fear.
You can easily tell whether you are anxious or not. Generally, anxiety may cause chest pains and shortness of breath. What causes it? According to waldeneatingdisorders.com, it might be caused by multiple factors. These include:
However, stress and depression are the leading cause of anxiety. When one is depressed, the stress hormone, cortisol, is produced in large quantities.
Cortisol is known to have a significant effect on one’s appetite. This stimulates emotional munching on someone. As a result, one gets involved in binge eating which may mean may mean consuming too much food at ago, or one keeps on munching every now and then.
Can you manage binge eating?
Yes, you can. Firstly, identify when you are anxious. You can do this by carrying out an eating anxiety test. Once, you are anxious, stressed up or depressed, check your appetite.
Commonly, anxiety is treated in various ways:
- Learn to keep calm– Even when situations are tough, learn to control your emotions. You don’t have to get yourself worked out over things you can’t control in life.
- You can take antidepressant medication- Consider taking antidepressants when in distress. This will prevent food anxiety disorder.
- Psychotherapy- This involves sessions of counseling to identify what makes you anxious.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy- With this form of therapy, a psychiatrist will try to learn about your thought system, and why you behave the way you do.
- Get physically active when depressed– If the urge to eat is too much, please don’t Instead, just get out and engage in rigorous physical activities. For example, you can take a swim, run or engage in yoga. You can also enter a session of meditation. All these activities divert your mind from the strong binging urge.
Can eating make you anxious?
We can’t look at this topic without looking at the relationship between what you eat and being anxious. While food is known to be an anxiety reliever by some people, it can also act as a significant trigger.
Can certain foods cause anxiety? The answer is yes. Some people get anxious.
Below are Circumstances that make people anxious when munching:
Social anxiety disorder
The first cause is a social anxiety disorder. This is a kind that one experiences during social interactions. People with this form of disorder get anxious when in social gatherings.
The condition is also known as social phobia. Such people fear to be judged or rejected. They even fear to eat when for many people. When they do so, they are always very anxious.
Such people develop a lot of fear and worry when food is served. They appear uncomfortable when while munching while take long before they finish eating.
Fear of getting chocked
Secondly, some people just fear that they would get chocked. For example, some people get anxious it is time for fish being served simply because they fear that some bones in fish might bet stuck in one’s throat, thus causing death.
Some people have health conditions that make swallowing quite complicated. Such people fear that even light foods would choke them. This results in them being anxious. In such cases, victims start sweating when they see food. Some people will even keep off food. There are people who boycott eating meat for instance simply because they fear getting choked up.
Certain eating disorders
Some eating disorders will make you nervous when you see food. According to National Eating Disorders Collaboration, one of such disorders is Anorexia Nervosa. For example, some people fear that munching might make them gain excess weight.
Such mentality is anorexia nervosa. Some people who are after attaining a shape of their body feel anxious when they see food. This is also eating anxiety. Such people can even go for a whole day without having anything. When forced to eat, they get very nervous.
- Psychologytoday.com How Anxiety and Perfectionism Affect Your Eating
- Eatingdisorders.org Eating Disorders, Anxiety and Depression
- Waldeneatingdisorders.com Is There A Connection Between Binge Eating And Anxiety?