As social beings, it’s long understood that we don’t do well in isolation. In one study that looked at the effects of connection-deprived rats, the rats that experienced social isolation were more sensitive to stress and had increased emotional reactivity. The same has been seen in humans- we now know that solitary confinement in prisons leads to worsening of serious mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, and is linked to high rates of self-harm behaviors.
So who are we to think that we’re better off going it alone? When faced with any problem, connection to supportive and caring people is an essential part of maintaining difficult changes in the long-term.
Not only that, but when we don’t have connection, we turn to food and other substances to fill the void. When we binge eat, we experience similar dopamine and reward-center spikes as if we were laughing or connecting with people. That’s why when we’re not taking care of ourselves in healthy ways, we often turn to food and substances as a replacement.
With this information, know that it’s never too late to form your support network aka your Power Circle. If you’re lost with where to start, check out our amazing Breaking up with Sugar community on Facebook or get on the list to hear about joining the Molly Carmel Membership Site. You can also find local support groups like Overeaters Anonymous or find a therapist near you.
You don’t have to go this alone. We’re here rooting for you and with you every step of the way.