Cedric Centre for Counselling Inc.


How Sexual Abuse Triggers Binging

How Sexual Abuse Triggers Binging

This article will explore briefly the dynamic of how sexual abuse triggers binging. I hope it helps you to feel more understood and supported and hopeful that you can change this pattern of binging in your life, no matter what you binge on or how long it`s been happening.

Many people consider the term “sexual abuse” to refer to the assault of a child.

The reality is that sexual abuse can range from any unwanted verbal innuendo, gesture, or physical contact, to rape.

Many people who use food and body-image focus to cope have had one of these experiences. Many do, but not one-hundred percent, so don’t rack your brain trying to recall an assault if you aren’t already aware of this in your history.

The most harmful byproduct of sexual abuse is that it turns us against our bodies.  It makes us feel like our body is not our own, that others have more right to it than we do and thus it undermines our sense of safety in our very being. 

Sadly, many humans, after a sexual assault violation naturally default to a though process we call self-blame. In this form of thought we play and replay the event(s) in our heads looking for ways that we could have changed the outcome and looking for details about what we did that caused it in the first place.

`I shouldn`t have sat next to that person`.

“I shouldn`t have walked down that street.“

`I should have screamed louder.`

`I should have screamed.`

These thoughts are the brain`s way of helping you to feel some degree of empowerment over the situation so that you don`t feel so scared and overwhelmed. If you had some power then you can feel more confident that you can prevent it from happening again and that makes you feel better. So the brain sets about finding all the ways you may have been at fault.

This is fine for a day or two but any longer than that and your brain really starts to believe you were at fault which sets you up to have a very confused perspective on relationships, on your body and sexuality, and on other people`s rights to your body.

People typically head for one of two extremes in these situations – they become withdrawn and intensely sensitive to any potential sexual innuendo and avoid any physical intimacy in relationships; or they give themselves away to anyone who shows the slightest interest or expectation.

It is natural to feel insecure and anxious if you`ve been attacked or abused and you haven`t yet come to understand what your part in it really was and how to trust yourself to take good care of yourself now.

And it`s natural to binge or get preoccupied with weight and dieting as a way of coping with feelings of anxiety and insecurity. Those feelings are not about your body really, they are about your thinking. Change your thinking and you will find that your relationship to food, and therefore,naturally your weight, will change without effort.

I`ve been there – I know. And I`ve helped many other men and women to get past this and live truly satisfying lives in which they feel confident and secure.

Reach out and let me show you the tools to create the change you seek. You deserve to feel confident in yourself and trusting in your ability to relate to others and take good care of yourself. I can help.

Love Michelle

Posted in: CEDRIC Centre

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  1. lilysue July 1, 2011

    Thank you for your insight. I just realised why i have struggled with my body so much.


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