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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I stop my binge eating?

    I'm 25, just finished a masters degree & about to start my first full time job since leaving high school. In the past few years due to multiple ankle injuries & operations it has come to the point when I'm unable to run or walk for exercise, I can swim but the area I live in lacks a decent swimming pool.

    I've put on 20kg in the last year and my weight has gone to 85kg. I'm only
    Small so the excess weight is not good.

    My GP put me on duromine which is a weight loss medication that isn't cheap ($95 for 30 tablets). I've been on it before with great effect but this time it isn't as effective. My eating has decreased but I still notice myself eating in excess.

    Also I suffer from depression and am medicated which was a result of my ankle injuries as I use to be very sports minded, competing for Victoria and at Australian titles. Now I can't do any of it without pain.

    I am a full time Carer for my mother who has a lung disease and I guess I eat as a way of being happy.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    The Butterfly Foundation ( has many resources for people who may experience disordered eating or an ED.

  • 2


    Alysha Coleman

    Clinical Psychologist, Counsellor, Psychologist

    Alysha is the Primary Clinical Psychologist and Director of The Institute for Healthy Living, a clinical psychology practice in Bondi Junction. Alysha has worked with … View Profile

    I'm sorry to hear about the difficult time you have been having. It sounds like there are a number of areas of your life causing you distress. When we are experiencing negative emotions, food seems to be an easy quick fix solution.

    It might be useful to identify what your triggers are. What sets off cravings? When are you turning to food for comfort or escape? Work to develop more helpful coping strategies. For example, if you tend to over eat when at home as a way to feel happy, come up with other competing activities that could provide you with a sense of pleasure or enjoyment.

    There is a complex, interacting process of your thoughts, feelings and behaviours that is keeping your over-eating episodes going. You may be relieved to know that cognitive behaviour therapy (an approach provided by Psychologists) is a short-term treatment that can help you improve your depressive symptoms and also decrease episodes of overeating. There is a way to improve your symptoms

  • 1


    Often enough, we do not know our own mind. In the process of dialogue with another person, we are able to clarify what we think … View Profile

    sorry to hear of the struggles you have been having.
    Binge eating is a complex thing with a number of different triggers. Sometimes the triggers are related to the particular foods you are eating or craving. Sometimes it is related to dealing with uncomfortable feelings or moods, often those very feelings that are hard to express, such as anger, loneliness, guilt,  and of course others. Eating to excess and binge eating are actually different things, so it would be useful to understand whether you are generally eating more than you need to, or whether you are eating normally some of the time, then bingeing on certain types of foods.
    It isn't uncommon to do either of these things during times of stress or overload, or change.
    You could start to pay attention to what the foods are and what the moods are - maybe get a diary or journal to start taking note of this as the chances are it has a number of different causes.
    You can also explore all of these things in a relationship with a counsellor - doesn't necessarily have to be a psychologist - other professionals are just as able to help - many of them are also available through Medicare on a mental health plan.

    Different techniques work for different people, CBT can help some, and ACT can help others. But most important is a supportive relationship with a counselling professional who has experience treating depression and an understanding of the complex relationship may of us women have with food, will likely be of most help to you.
    Good luck with it.

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