There is a real link between depression and overeating. For some people, depression is a chemical imbalance. Medication (along with therapy if necessary) can remedy that problem. But for most people, depression is a symptom of not dealing with stress or unwanted emotions.

When these unwanted emotions arise; food can be an effective anesthetic agent. It literally drives away the emotion. But the catch is that it takes energy to keep these emotions at bay. So, there is not only weight gain; but energy is used to “depress” emotions. When a person continues to do this; a state of depression occurs.

The cycle can also come first with depression. When a person is depressed, they can use food to comfort themselves. This then leads to further depression and deepens the urge to consume food to feel good.

When so much energy is used to numb the emotions; You literally have nothing left to give to your life, yourself or your family. This is common among people who suffer from binges and emotional meals.

But the good news is that this type of depression can be reversed! When you begin to face the emotions that you fear; you release energy to live your life. The depression begins to dissipate. The key is to remain strong enough to deal with emotions and situations in a healthy way and to stop overeating.

Ideas to help you get started:

1-Ask for help and assistance to a higher power (God, universe, whatever you believe in).

2-Start using a journal to express your emotions instead of turning to food.

3-Address the situation that is causing you stress (either by writing or talking to the person).

4-Pay attention to your internal dialogue and make sure it is positive. (You can use affirmations or statements to help you achieve this.)

It’s easy to reuse food to cope. And in doing so; depression can re-enter. The first thing people usually do is throw in the towel and keep doing what has been familiar to them in the past. But don’t let any setback stop you from breaking free from this self-imposed depression. Be brave enough to face your fears! You can break the cycle.

Remember: mistakes are bound to happen; that doesn’t mean you have to continue it for the rest of your life. Don’t beat yourself up for them; that will just keep you stuck. Make the decision to deal with stress and emotions in a healthy way and stay positive. You can do it!

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