Imagine the last time you went on a binge. What did biting into that cream-filled doughnut do for you? Or a hit of pot, yet another beer, an all-night craps game, secret and illicit sex? Or even depression, exhaustion, or anxiety?

Just maybe you were angry, and your binge and your choice of the binge was an unconscious method of expressing your anger. The doughnut (or the martini or the joint) effectively pushed your anger down. The unfortunate losers of the craps game represented that supervisor who screamed at you for the mistake. (And it was his mistake, not yours!)

The reaction to a loss of love, respect, or caring is anger. It’s not a “nice” emotion, and has a bad reputation. For women, anger is only too often a “no-no.” Anger is fire. It can be as devastating as a forest fire or as warming and protective as a campfire. With people suffering from food and weight issues, it’s mostly turned inwards, a weapon against the self. Then it becomes depression, anxiety, or self-hatred, and projected onto ourselves and we leap into a binge.

A variation of anger is resentment. Resentment eats us up from the inside, like cancer. It’s emotionally destructive, leading us to destroy ourselves with addictive substances or behaviors. Anger used productively can be channeled into assertiveness. Stand up to your spouse, child, boss. This clears your way to life-satisfaction.