Is this sinful?

I am overweight, but not obese. Please also note that I tend to be scrupulous.

I often over-eat/over-drink (NOT alcohol or caffeine beverages) because:

  1. It helps relieve some of my chronic nausea (due to a chronic stomach condition.)
  2. I also eat when I’m depressed, which is a LOT. (Yes, I am being treated for this.)

Would this be glutenous? If so is it mortal or venial sin?

I think that is gluttony… Doesn’t your doctor prescribe something for you to relieve your stomach condition?

Having had some stomach issues in my past, I know very well how there really isn’t much in the way of medicine that will help treat it, without causing the very side effects the meds are supposed to treat. I am not offering medical advise, but much of my own gastric complaints were caused by a faulty gallbladder and after that was removed, some depression and PTSD I’ve endured. I still have some bad days, but for the most part, I am pain and discomfort free.

I think most of determining whether or not it is sinful (or how sinful) has to do with amounts. If you are constantly grazing, but not eating much more than “normal” (whatever that is) to help with nausea, then I don’t see that as sinful. If you are eating in response to “stuffing” you feelings (again, I’ve dealt with that)… if it’s been something you’ve done for a really long time then the overeating, though perhaps sinful, has a reduced culpability. You stated that you are being treated for one of the conditions that is causing overeating, but I’ll paraphrase what one of my confessors has stated to me in regards to some (thankfully, now in partial remission) of my addictive and damaging behaviors: the behaviors themselves aren’t what is the most sinful. It’s the refusing to seek help in stoping those behaviors that is the most sinful.

My suggestion with this is to, with the help of a good confessor or a spiritual director (or a therapist), evaluate how much of this is due to your stomach condition and how much is due to depression. Perhaps once the depression is addressed, the stomach issues may even go away. *Please note that I am not an MD nor am I offering medical advise… * I’m just speaking to my own situation and pointing out that there has been shown some corelation between stress/depression and gastric complaints.

I very strongly doubt that it is a sin at all. If I may be so bold, I think the idea that it is mortal absurd.

To be considered gluttonous, an act of eating or drinking must be “excessive.” “Excessive” is not an absolute term – it is different from person to person and situation to situation – and we may perhaps define it as an “undue indulgence,” either consumed to the point of deliberately and knowingly injuring the physical or mental faculties (e.g. drunkenness or wanton and deliberate overeating to the point of obesity) or consuming exclusively for the pleasure of it (and deliberately excluding other goods, perhaps by forced vomiting or eating styrofoam or something).

If you’re eating more than is normally recommended for your age group because of a medical problem (chronic nausea), of course it can’t be gluttony! And if you’re doing it because of another medical or emotional problem (depression) the same holds true. It sounds like you’re not obese, you haven’t disabled yourself or seriously injured your health through eating, and you’re not going around thwarting the other goods of food (like nutrition), so… none of this is an “undue indulgence,” and you’re really in the clear here. I could be wrong, especially if you’re using food to avoid dealing with whatever’s making you depressed in a more responsible way, but, if it’s just a release valve for you that isn’t injuring you and isn’t completely self-indulgent, it seems to be really okay.

Quoting Catholic Encylcopedia here:

Gluttony is in general a venial sin in so far forth as it is an undue indulgence in a thing which is in itself neither good nor bad. Of course it is obvious that a different estimate would have to be given of one so wedded to the pleasures of the table as to absolutely and without qualification live merely to eat and drink, so minded as to be of the number of those, described by the Apostle St. Paul, “whose god is their belly” (Philippians 3:19). Such a one would be guilty of mortal sin.

I, for one, would be more worried about that scrupulosity.

Disclaimer: I am not a theologian. The advice of the poster is entirely his own. Always see a priest for more definite and personal guidance.

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