Several people have emailed me to ask about why they seem to have some issues with compulsive shopping since the shelter-in-place has begun.
The Eating Disorder brain is multi-faceted, but in my many years of treating people with many different kinds of disordered eating patterns, I’ve noticed a consistent set of traits across the board. Those traits are:
#1. A brain that doesn’t stop moving, thinks too much, moves too quickly and tends to obsess.
#2. A deep seated belief that you are not good enough.
The belief then seeks to “fix” itself. The racing brain, that smart problem solver wants to undo the feeling of not being good enough, so she does whatever she can to remedy that. It could be dieting to make herself thinner, buying clothes or makeup or skincare treatments to make her look prettier, picking on her skin to make it perfect, obsessing on everything she must have done wrong in her last relationship to make him leave her… any of those things. And more things.
The eating disorder brain believes that it can cure itself by curing what it believes is wrong with it rather than just looking at the belief that something is wrong with it. It believes that it needs to “fit in” in order to be loved. And the problem is, most people don’t really believe that they fit in. They are desperately trying to change that by fixing themselves. The need to fix becomes the obsession.
The truth is though that you don’t need to fix yourself, you just need to allow yourself to naturally unfold into who you are. All human beings are inherently worthy of love. Especially for our quirks, especially for what makes us unique and different and especially for what makes us US. When we try too hard to fit in, we lose ourselves. And then everyone is wearing the same clothes, has the same eyebrows, the same body and no one is happy because they are holding on too tight. Watch the video below where I address this question.