I hope this works


Active Member
O.k. I've been having lots of mini panic attacks. I don't have them bad (intense), but they can go on for days/weeks. I've been trying to figure out what triggers them and have isolated a trigger - FOOD! When ever there is lots of food around I have a panic attack (actually panic attacks.) I grew up never really getting enough; we didn't starve but my mom hated to cook. If we were hungery we had to fix it our self. Like a 5 year old really knows how to cook a balanced meal; that would've been great for teenagers, though. Anyway ex used to not let me eat or sleep. I had to go over to the neighbors to eat behind his back because he controled how much food came into the house. I couldn't eat more than he did (and I was pregnant.) Now, if there is food and I'm not eating it I get panicky. So, I'm trying to convince my emotions that its o.k. I've got enough food. I can eat when ever I want and as much as I want. Soooooo, I'm eating until I don't want to eat any more. I really hope this works to stop the panic attacks. I am hoping to stop the obsession my emotions have with food, so I can have enough in the house with going beserk and eating it all trying to get enough before it isn't there anymore. Has anyone had any experiance with food deprivation issues? How was it treated? I should go to a therapist, but just don't have the time between difficult child 1 and difficult child 2 appoinments and not having a car. :blush: I really hope this works.


Well-Known Member
If your panic attacks stem from your ex's abuse then you need to find a way to seek qualified professional help. It's great to try some at home techniques but you may need some additional help. Try calling your family doctor or county mental health unit, there may be an appropriate support group in your area. Between a possible eating disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or your PTSD I really think it's prudent to get some expert advice.


New Member
I agree, I would seek pro help to make sure this doesn't worsen. Maybe contact Nami and see what they can help with. I'm sorry you are going through this. Abuse does have many long term effects.


Active Member
I had food deprivation issues. We never had food growing up. We did not have much money but what there was ended up being differently "prioritized" and it didnt' include making sure my brother and I had food. I then went in/out of foster care for years. I would balloon up in foster care, I would eat everything but the kitchen sink like I was stocking up to hibernate. Which I guess looking back I was, because I'd end up back home and back to no food. When I moved out on my own on my 16th birthday I finally controlled my own food purchases. Or I thought I did because I could ensure there was always food. I by then was a compulsive overeater and an emotional eater. By my mid 20's I had hit 300lbs.
I in the end did see a therapist because I finally recognized I wasn't in control of food at all, it was controlling me, my emotions, my physical and mental state of mind. I wanted it to end and therapy helped me most definitly. I then, when I was ready, ended up having gastric bypass surgery and have maintained my target weight ever since. I completely understand that there are so many ways not having food growing up can affect your adult life.
The only thing I do cling to, I can't kick it, is that I get teased because if you look in my cupboards, or my freezer, or my huge walk in pantry, you would think I was stockpiling for war times or something. Seriously, I stock pile much used items when they come on sale. I have taught myself to not EAT what I really don't want or really don't need. But I couldn't handle not knowing that what I need/want to prepare for a meal or give my kids, wasn't available. I don't waste anything, in other words fresh foods I don't "Stockpile" and then waste, sadly I know people with similar pasts who do. My therapist and I decided it wasn't unhealthy to do this, it offers me a security regarding food that replaces my old need to eat what is here when it is here. It is now enough to know that even if something happened financially leaving me short on cash, there is enough food in the house to carry me through that time and ensure my children would never go hungry or feel there wasn't enough here.
I don't know what will work for you, everyone is so individual. I am sorry to know you have to struggle with this as I have been there and I know the eternal emotional struggle.
I hope you find something that will help you with this, more for the emotional impact than anything.



Active Member
I don't have a car to get to appointments. Getting to difficult child 1 and difficult child 2's appointments and visitation by bus dominates my life. I know more about the bus schedules then the people who work for the bus system. I guess I'll just have to wait until I have better transportation.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful

I have major food deprivation issues. I didn't really realize how bad until my 30's. Growing up food was always an issue. There was only so much money. Not that we ever really starved. But meals could get a bit strange when you're trying to stretch food.

Mine was triggered the very first time husband was unemployed. I'm okay if there is enough food in the house. But just one time of having to watch what we buy due to money...... And for months I over buy. I stock my cabinets and frig to overflowing and keep them that way. I never even did it intentionally. It was husband who pointed it out to me after several years of it.

One time when I did it I had to eventually clean everything out because it was too much for us to eat before everything expired, and send it to a food pantry.

Now that husband has been unemployed again, I know I'll be doing it again as soon as I have the money. I don't fight it. (if I try it makes it worse) After a while of feeling stable with the amount of food in the house again I begin to mellow out and only buy what we need.

Your approach sounds reasonable. Denial will probably make it worse. Letting yourself have small snacks of things you want when you want them might help to retrain your brain that the food is there and it's okay for you to eat it. (I used this sort of thing with an eating disorder which also stems from food deprivation)

But if it doesn't improve, I'd seek professional help as soon as you can. I'm sure they would have many more suggestions to try, and help you really look at why you have this anxiety with food.



Former desparate mom
Stockpiling food isn't a bad thing as long as it's not interfering with paying household bills and isn't an obsession. Not having a car would make me think having enough in the house a priority.
Eating it is another matter entirely. I'm not qualified to make any realistic suggestions but obviously if you find the panic to be too great, you need more help. How does your husband handle/help you with this issue?


Active Member
That's incredible that your ex was such an A--! I can't imagine what that must be like. Did you get involved in any treatment after you and he split? Perhaps you can just find a support group for battered/abused women. It seems obvious that this is what the underlying issue is and it branches out from there. Perhaps getting into a group will help and the leader may be able to stear you into the right direction as to how to get individual help with food.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
My mom grew up in a household of food deprivation. When she died she had 2 freezers full of food, meals & such. My dad is currently handing out food to the family.

Having said that, you have a need to have food around you - it gives you comfort. However there is another part of you that is panicking at that food.

I think it may be time to seek professional help. Make time for you. Your difficult children will still be difficult children after your appointments & such - that isn't going to change. However, you need to take care of yourself to parent your challenging children.

Even if it's a yoga class or a group meeting. It's time to take care of you.

Will be keeping you in my thoughts. :warrior: