Many people self medicate with food to manage their emotions when feelings of stress or depression take hold.
Food definitely makes us feel better, even if we aren’t self-medicating when we eat. Food not only quells our hunger, it also makes us feel better emotionally. So what’s the test for using food to self-medicate?
One benchmark of self-medicating is overindulgence, where food becomes a substitute for a more adaptive way of feeling good. We don’t know how to cope when life takes over and things happen- all the D’s: divorce, death, deadlines, debt, demands. Eventually eating can appear to be ones only comfort.
Emotional eating creates a cycle of feel bad, eat, feel worse, and eat more. Be mindful of the food-emotion connection.