Like many professionals, I have to attend annual continuing education sessions. In one recent session I learned that depression and suicide are many times higher in my field than they are in most others, excluding dentists and doctors. This wasn’t shocking or new to me. What was new was finding out that many students and professionals in my field meet the criteria for diagnosis of various flavors of disordered eating.
After thinking about it for a few days, I figured out I was one of those people. In a way, it was a relief. Years of obsessing over something I decidedly did not want to obsess about suddenly made sense. Being the nerd that I am, I drove to the bookstore and grabbed a few items to help me figure out what comes next on being a more whole person.
I grabbed Dr. Farkas’ (clinical psychologist) book mainly because the cover didn’t look too hokey and it included some actionable ideas. While it’s not my only resource, I’m definitely glad I picked it up. As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews this year, sometimes having someone articulate an issue or name a problem in a book is itself encouraging and freeing because you know you aren’t the only person feeling a certain way, and also that others have found ways to manage.
The most helpful thing in the book for me, and the thing that probably resonates the most with people in my profession, is the idea that a lot of disordered eating comes from a feeling of lack of control in other areas of life. In professions where perfection is expected, you have to have some sort of outlet. Disordered eating and in my case binge eating is a way to relax and take control. Knowing the why helps address it.
I’m sure you’re wondering, here are the 8 Keys:
- Get a Fix on Emotional Eating
- Break the Diet Mentality
- Be Strategic About Control
- Understand the Motive
- Resolve the COnflict
- Boost Your Coping Skills
- Cue Your Reasoning
- Accept Yourself and Thrive