What if your mind found bingeing useful?

August 6, 2021

Have you ever thought that your mind might see bingeing as something useful?

After all, if something persists for a long time, without changing, even if it causes suffering, it must necessarily be useful, otherwise it would have already changed.

I’ll give you an example: Behind a chronic tendency to tell a lot of lies, there may be the need to hide aspects of ourselves that we fear may disappoint others, for fear that they may abandon or reject us.

Now I would like you to stop for a moment and think about this:

  • What are your mechanisms?
  • What are your binges protecting your from? Why are they useful to you?

From this perspective, there is usefulness in binges.

In a logical way you might be aware that bingeing is something wrong, harmful.

You are right. But there is a part of you that probably doesn’t think so. That part of your mind that believes your bingeing is actually useful. The one that recognizes secondary benefits.

It’s the part that uses the binge to feel free from something, the part that needs to cope with an emotion and doesn’t have or can’t identify alternative ways to cope. It can be the part that needs distraction, that wants to procrastinate on something that doesn’t want to do.

It is a more or less hidden part of you, more or less accessible on a conscious level and therefore also more or less understandable.

But until you understand that there is a part of you which believes bingeing is useful in a way, you will hardly be able to do something about it.

I invite you to consider this:

Every mechanism we put in place to protect ourselves or to try to get better must always be evaluated for the effects it produces.

  • When you binge, is it true that you feel better or not?
  • Do emotions and problems disappear or do they stay?

If the effect is different, or even opposite to what you use the binge for (in other words, it doesn’t have the desired effect) then it’s a sign that you might want to work on it and do something different.

Always starting from a small step, because climbing the mountain when you don’t have the right shoes never really works, right?!

You can then add small steps, gradually increasing the dose of change always in the direction of a more functional behaviour which promotes your well-being.

This, your well-being, should always be the priority. Do you agree?

Share your experience in the comments.

With kindness,

Dona 🌷

PS: In case you don’t know yet, this website has a free resources page to help you start your healing journey.

Have a look and get in touch to ask any questions you have. I might be able to recommend an article or another resource to support you.

onatella Porceddu Psychologist and Eating Coach based in Ireland
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Written by Donatella Porceddu

I am a registered psychologist and life coach specialised in binge and emotional eating, body kindness, and mindful eating. I empower women to become the best version of themselves through my comprehensive approach, which combines personal coaching and psychology, leveraging my client’s strengths and building around their opportunities.

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Donatella Porceddu Psychologist & Eating Coach specialised in Binge Eating, Overeating, Emotional Eating, Food freedom, anti-diet approach. 1:1 support through my Make Peace with Food program.

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