How do I deal with past food insecurity issues?
Asked by bbroschinski on May 11, 2009
in Emotional & Behavioral Issues
When I was younger, there was a lack of money and, therefore, a lack of available food. I am now in a situation in which there is sufficient food, but I still act as though there is not. I hoard food and am unable to throw away scraps (even spaghetti sauce! I have to make sure the bowl is clean). I am even unable to watch others throw away scraps! I go to therapy for other issues related to my past, but what else can I do to help deal with these issues? (I started a group on CalorieCount so it would be great to tell people about that so I can talk to others who have dealt with this.)
Most people think food insecurity ends with getting enough food, but food insecurity has long lasting psychological effects such as feelings of powerlessness, worry, anxiety, alienation, and shame. The usual advice addresses the social aspects of food insecurity, like coordinating access to food stamps and food pantries, but you are correct to deal with the psychological issues in mental health therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is used to change the mindset, and the client makes the therapy stick by practicing useful techniques in-between sessions. Practice techniques include thought stopping, journaling, guided imagery, and others. Good luck to everyone in your Food Insecurities Group.