Question on gluttony?

I’m a 15 year old girl raised in a Catholic environment all my life. However, this past year I have fallen into something of a depression…I am sad all the time, and have lost touch with God and even myself. I am sometimes happy with myself and my life, but most of the time I do not enjoy who I am and wonder why I even exist…I feel terribly ungrateful.

My mom knows and is trying to help pull me through. However, I have a lingering question: you see, I have developed a pattern of binge eating. I eat excess sweets until I can no longer eat without feeling sick. This used to happen once a month, but it now occurs nearly every day. I eat because I’m emotionally hurt, I’m stressed, and I crave something sweet and soothing. Afterward, I always regret what I’ve done and I vow never to do it again…but I do. My mom says I do it out of compulsiveness from my messed up brain chemistry- I lack serotonin therefore my brain signals for me to turn to sweets for comfort and a “happy” feeling…but I am scared. Is this gluttony? Am I committing a mortal sin every day? I’ve been receiving communion on Sundays…I do confess to the priest that I eat emotionally at times, but I never go into detail. I mean, gluttony is a capital sin.

What should I do?? I’ve tried multiple times to stop…its not easy! And yet, at the same time, I don’t feel like I’m trying hard enough. I just give in.
I wish I had a better relationship with God, then I wouldn’t have to doubt my actions…how can I pray and really learn to listen?

It seems to me, and I speak from experience, that if a doctor has diagnosed clinical depression, which is the serotonin problem, you should be receiving medication and therapy. The appropriate medication prevents your body from excreting the serotonin from your brain so fast which will help the compulsive craving for sweets.
Therapy will help you deal in other ways with the stress and hurt feelings. It is very helpful and need not be a permanent thing. If you haven’t been to a doctor you should see one.

Can you talk with your mom or the therapist about ways to change what is causing some of the stress and hurt feelings?

Try to be patient with yourself. I don’t think what you are doing is mortally sinful but you’re already aware you don’t want to establish a pattern that may be very difficult to break in the future. You have gotten into a cycle of doing something objectively disordered and now you feel out of control and yet responsible. There’s a physical, emotional, and spiritual aspect to this behavior, it isn’t only a spiritual problem. So you need to address the physical and emotional issues as well.

What can you do? Keep trusting in God’s love and that He’s calling you into a deep friendship with Him despite your weakness. Repeated failures in controlling your eating are humbling but point you to the reality that you can’t do this all by yourself. Don’t be too proud to look for human help but be aware that God also will help you through the grace of the sacraments. And He will not turn away from you or give up on you.

I’m sure other posters will have good suggestions.

In regards to the past:

Subjectively you will need to examine yourself as to your actions etc at the time (see the CCC in regards mortal sin)…perhaps with the help of the priest in confession…he can help you …and help you judge and confess them (in number and kind if mortal)…

Bring the past to confession…explain things to the Priest…


Objectively (for the future)

As to the form of gluttony that can be referred to as overeating…Individual acts of overeating…intemperance (gluttony in this sense) are “ordinarily” a “venial matter” for venial sin…(ones confessor can also guide one…there can be things that could be grave…like perhaps your doctor tells you if you do X your going to drop dead…etc etc) and perhaps the difficulties you are under even reduce the sin as well. But discuss what you have been doing with the Priest in confession – he can help you judge future possible actions as well (not to say to go ahead and keep eating…try to work on bringing it back to reason…with help)

and ones doctor too can be of help…

The confessor can guide you do not be afraid to talk with him…

Know that Jesus the Good Shepherd loves you and knows his sheep! Go to him!

Gluttony is a mortal sin.That means one lives to eat.You don’t qualify.You’re sin is venial in my estimation.you’ve obviously got a mental problem.Many of us do.i would suggest prayer.Ask God to help you with this and to discover what He wants you to do with your life.This is very common among young people.Try saying the Rosary(daily if possible).I myself along with so many others have found that Our Lady is always available and will help us when we pray to Her for Her intercession.Don’t despair.Put you’re faith in God.He always answers our prayers.

As noted above… it is not. It can be grave matter for mortal sin yes. But it can also be venial matter often…(gluttony admits of parvity of matter)

Bookcat:thanks for that.

I am not sure on this but if you have an eating disorder, I think that would decrease your culpability.

I am not sure on this but if you have an eating disorder, I think that would decrease your culpability.

While I’m not sure whether or not this would be a mortal sin for you, I will tell you that your best option it to talk to your priest. He will guide you.

In regards to your depression, I think you should see a doctor if you haven’t already. I struggled with depression up until my Junior year of high school and once I realised how much of a problem I was having I talked to my mom and we agreed I should see the doctor. My depression not only cause me to have no self-confindence, it also caused me to have a terrible anger problem. Going to the doctor was the best thing I ever did. I was prescribed a medication that I still take( I’m now a Junior in college). Don’t be ashamed of needing to take medication. I did at times and would stop taking it. Which would then cause all my old problems to come flooding back in terrible waves. I’ve accpeted that I will have to be on this medicine for the rest of my life and that’s ok with me now. God made me this way. I’m not a defect, I’m just the way God made me.

I’ll keep you in my prayers. If you need anything, don’t hesitate to pm me.:thumbsup:

Gluttony is a sin and so recovery and healing is necessary and Is available through our Catholic Faith :slight_smile:

I suggest Frequent Confession - which means really striving to stop. The Light Weigh is a Catholic program designed to teach people how to overcome gluttony & other eating disorders. I also agree with the other posters that you should seek medical treatment.

If you’re currently do this daily, then each hour try to take a quick assessment of your temptation level and each time you feel a pull towards food when your physical stomach isn’t growling, the nature sign of physical hunger, then turn to God in prayer & the Bible & ask one or more of the Saints to aid you in resisting temptation.

Bad habits are hard to overcome, but with God all things are possible. Turn your attention from food to God. Only God can resolve your other issues while the over use of food can only compound your other problem.

your mom sounds wonderful and very wise
you cannot commit a mortal sin without the full intention to do so and full free will. That means not under compulsion from another person, or from a psychological or physical disorder. Yes you do have to cooperate with your mother and medical people to find the cause of the disorder and seek a remedy, but since you do not now have full free will over this situation and clearly do not intend to commit mortal sin, you cannot. Work with your mother and the professionals she employs to help you combat this before it becomes something worse and causes actual physical damage.

simply do it. Pray. Talk to God the same way you related your problem here. Talk to him the same way you do your mother or with counsellors. Go to confession and communion often and of course never miss Sunday Mass. Work on the virtue that is opposite the compulsion to eat–usually rooted in sloth and greed as much as in gluttony. That does not mean you are guilty of those as mortal sins, it just describes the human tendency that usually drives these things. So work on doing your duty at each moment of the day around the house, at school etc. Work on generosity and kindness toward others, find a way to serve–at home, at school, in the community. some people fighting a similar battle as yours find help in seeking out a type of service that focuses on providing food for the hungry, so is there a parish or community ministry of that type you and your mother could to together?

I’m having some trouble too. What I’m trying to do to get closer to God is to read the Bible everyday. Even if you forget, read it. Last night I realized, dang, I forgot to read the Bible. So I got up, got online and read chapter 20 and 21. I felt a weight lift off me, I knew I couldn’t sleep if I hadn’t read it. Read the Bible, and try righting letters to God. What I do is write my letter ‘Dear God,’ and talk about my concerns and my want to see a priest. I write it like I would most letters, put it in my God Box (not my idea), and go to bed. I say an our father and after that just talk to God. The writing has really helped, and I think you should give it a try.

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