Posts Tagged ‘food numbing’

Food Numbing

Throughout my therapy, I have learned many new terms.  One such term is “food numbing.”  When I was pregnant with my daughter I gained about 60 pounds. (yikes!)  After I had her, I lost about 30, and then slowly crept back up another 30.  So, all in all, even after having my daughter I weighed about 60 pounds more than when I initially got pregnant.

Immediately after the trauma, I realized I was eating, eating, eating.  It didn’t matter what, as long as I was chewing.  High carbs and high caloric foods were my drug of choice.  Upon talking to my therapist I have realized that food can really truly function as a “drug of choice.”  When you are suffering from PTSD, the serotonin re-uptake inhibitors in your brain are not functioning as they should, essentially, they are broken.  This leaves one unable to complete the loop of the “feel good” serotonin that usually  provides a calming and pleasant kick back function for your personal wellness.  High caloric and high carb foods help to complete that cycle for the time being, they provide a temporary “food numbing” phenomenon that tells your brain, “this is good, keep eating, it calms you.”

Initially, I was only able to cut the “food numbing” vice when I went onto anti-anxiety medications.  The medications provided a “fix” for the “broken” serotonin re-uptake inhibitors and allowed the cycle to proceed as before.  In reducing and titrating off of my medications, I am finding that I am slipping back into a food numbing coping mechanism.  It is in realizing this that I will be able to replace my high carb and high caloric foods with other activities that produce serotonin in a non-detrimental way. 

One such way is exercise.  In joining a gym I have found that a good work out can produce those same feel good enzymes as medication and food.  Bonus-It helps me lose the weight too!

Thanks for Reading,