Food addiction treatment in Melbourne
The Cabin Melbourne – Effective, affordable treatment for food addiction
Do you feel compelled to eat when you are not hungry or continue eating even after you are full? Do you sometimes feel like you can’t stop eating once you start? Do you often try to hide your eating habits from others?
It is perfectly normal to have occasional food cravings, but if you find that eating and thoughts of food have taken over your life, you may be addicted to food.
According to data collected in 2012, an estimated 4% of the Australian population suffers from an eating disorder. As food addiction is a major component of the two most common eating disorders, bulimia and binge-eating disorder, this gives us a pretty good idea of how prevalent food addiction really is in Australian society. With more and more addictive fast food chains popping up all over the country, food addiction is undoubtedly on the rise.
All addictions are difficult to beat but since eating is necessary for survival, food addiction is particularly challenging to overcome. Additionally, with so many social functions centred on food, and the constant bombardment of food-related advertising in our modern society, reminders of food are impossible to escape. The task of fighting an addiction to something for which reminders are everywhere and abstinence is not an option is very daunting indeed.
Although recovery from food addiction is uniquely challenging, the good news is that help is available. The Cabin Melbourne offers an innovative and highly effective treatment programme to help you learn to eat mindfully, regain a healthy relationship with food, and break free from the shackles of food addiction.
Food Addiction Explained
While substance addiction involves developing an addiction to a particular substance, such as drugs or alcohol, food addiction differs in that sufferers become addicted to the behaviour, or process, of eating. For this reason, food addiction is classified as a process addiction.
Like substance addiction, food addiction involves a malfunction in the reward circuitry of the brain. In response to the addictive stimuli, in this case eating, the brain is flooded with the feel-good chemical dopamine, leading to the experience of pleasure. Individuals suffering from food addiction feel compelled to over-consume food to prolong this pleasure response, even in the face of health risks or other negative consequences. Eating ‘junk food’ or foods containing high levels of sugars, salt and fats, is especially addictive as consuming these substances produces a very strong response in the pleasure centre of the brain. It is no surprise that these foods tend to be the most problematic for individuals suffering from food addiction.
Signs of Food Addiction
The following symptoms may indicate that you suffer from food addiction:
- A feeling that you have lost control when eating (particularly when eating sugary, fatty or salty foods)
- Over-consuming foods to the point of feeling sick
- Thoughts preoccupied with food and eating
- Eating in secrecy or eating at strange times
- Inability to discontinue disordered eating behaviour even in the face of negative consequences
While many people who suffer from food addiction are overweight or obese, this is not necessarily always the case. Some individuals engage in purging, over-exercise, or fasting as compensatory measures in response to their compulsion to overeat. As such, some of those struggling with food addictions are normal weight or even underweight.
Consequences of Compulsive Over-Eating
The consequences of food addiction can be far reaching and can negatively impact every facet of life.
Disordered eating habits that accompany food addiction pose some serious risks to physical health including:
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Sleep apnea
- Bone deterioration
In addition to the physical risks, food addiction can negatively impact social and emotional wellbeing in the following ways:
- Avoidance of social events that involve food or eating
- Experiencing loneliness and feeling isolated from others
- Feelings of guilt or shame surrounding eating or compensatory behaviours
- Impairments to work or school performance as a result of preoccupation with food and eating
- Feelings of hopelessness or depression
- Loss of enjoyment in life, in extreme cases leading to suicidal thoughts
“Help, I am addicted to food”
The complex nature of food addiction makes it particularly tricky to overcome. Fortunately, recovery is possible with innovative new treatment options. Food addiction treatment can be sought at inpatient or outpatient facilities.
Most cases of food addiction can be effectively treated in an outpatient setting. Outpatient addiction treatment allows clients to remain in their normal environment, continuing with their daily activities, while learning to manage their addiction. In outpatient settings, clients get the help they need, without having to take leave from work or family commitments. Outpatient treatment offers the added benefit of allowing clients to apply the skills learned in treatment into immediate practice in daily life.
Inpatient treatment, on the other hand, is best suited for individuals who feel that their regular environment poses too many threats to full recovery. While housed at a residential rehab facility, clients are removed from triggers and able to focus 100% of their attention on healing from their addiction. Considered the gold standard in addiction treatment, inpatient addiction treatment offers clients round-the-clock access to care from addiction specialists.
Food addiction treatment at The Cabin Melbourne
If you are struggling with bulimia, binge eating disorder, or any other form of food addiction, the outpatient treatment programme at The Cabin Melbourne is the solution you have been looking for.
Our innovative Recovery Zones method is specifically designed to treat complex process addictions for which complete abstinence is not an option. In addition to Recovery Zones, our multifaceted treatment programme incorporates proven addiction therapies including CBT, Mindfulness and a modified version of the 12 steps to tackle your addiction from all angles. Our highly skilled addiction experts create a custom made treatment plan for each individual client to address their unique recovery needs. Clients gain the understanding, skills, and coping methods to find lasting, relapse-resistant recovery from food addiction. This holistic treatment strategy is highly effective, boasting an impressive 96% completion rate.
Clients of The Cabin Melbourne who struggle to find recovery within the contexts of their regular environment are granted fast tracked access to our world-renowned inpatient centre, The Cabin Chiang Mai. Situated in beautiful northern Thailand, our resort-like facility is the ideal setting to completely immerse yourself in the recovery process. Our tranquil grounds offer refuge from your addiction triggers while you attend treatment and participate in complimentary therapies such as yoga, qi gong and meditation.
Therapeutic food addiction treatments are supplemented by fitness and nutrition training to help you develop and maintain a healthy relationship with food and your physical health. Our on-site nutritionist offers training in shopping for, and preparing healthy meals to nurture the body while avoiding the dangerous addictive ingredients that contribute to cravings.
Don’t hesitate to get the help you deserve.