This picture shows a common thought which the eating disordered person can have. Self starvation can be about an attempt at self control and of course we also have binge eating which is out of control eating behaviour.
As soon as you start to try and control the Child ego state you are eventually going to get the opposite happening. In the DSM5 they don’t have binge singing disorder or binge dancing disorder because those human activities are not so psychologically important as eating. But we do have binge eating disorder in the DSM5 because there is a group of people who desperately try and control that human activity. And of course you end up worse off than when you started. You won’t start doing binge eating if you don’t try and over control your eating in the first place
As I always say to parents never make food an issue with the child. Never make food the battle ground, there are many other things you can fight with your child about but don’t fight about food. If a child wont eat its vegetables don’t make it sit there at the dinner table until it has, (and the child sits there for 2 hours). As soon as this happens this child now has food issues. Just get more creative at getting the vegetables into them. Disagree about other things.
Not an uncommon thing to hear as a therapist. The contract from the client is to control self in some way. Control their feelings, thinking or behaviour. Such as controlling the feeling of hunger and therefore controlling the behaviour of eating. The obsessive compulsive personality is especially prone to such a contract or desire for self control in some way. The magical thinking, “If I just wash my hands 5 times then I can control…..”.
But self control is one of those enigmatic aspects of human nature or human personality.
The more you allow your self to be out of control the more self control you will have. Or the more you accept that your Child ego state cannot be controlled by your Parent or Adult ego states the less out of control the Child ego state will feel.
Panic attacks are a good example. One of the principle aspects of the panic attack is the person feels out of control. Many people who experience panic attacks also suffer from phobophobia. A fear of fear. One of the fears is that the next panic attack can appear at any time. “I have no control over my fear and when it will appear”, is fearful for the panic attack sufferer.
This leaves two treatment options for the panic attack sufferer.
1. To accept that they cannot control the Child ego state as they would like. To experience letting go of control and being out of control for a while in the therapy room with the therapist.
2. To induce a panic attack in self in front of the therapist. This leads to the experience of – “If I can induce a panic attack in myself then in one sense I am in charge of my feelings”. I am not totally out of control which of course people are not. But people are also no where near 100% in control of their Child ego state either.