08 Dec The Secret Life Of Binge Eating Disorder
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder isn’t as well known as anorexia or bulimia. This a very real problem, and more prevalent than the familiar eating disorders. As with any eating disorder, the sufferer works hard to keep it a secret. This article seeks to draw attention to, and accurately explain this misunderstood emotional problem. People need to get the correct treatment to stop their destructive eating disorder cycle.
Binge eating Disorder – What is it?
Binge eating disorder is the most common one. Surprising to me, it was only made into a diagnosis fairly recently. People have been struggling with this disease for a long time. But, it wasn’t until just a few years ago that the medical community gave recognition and a voice to those experiencing the pain of it. The lack of recognition and validation caused afflicted individuals to go untreated. Because of this absence of understanding and support, the destructive behaviors continue and intensify, and cause a spiral of worsening mental health. Suffering with BED meant being stuck in a cycle of feeling enormous shame and guilt over their extreme behavior, and this triggered more disordered behavior. The more you binge out of control, the worse you feel, and the harder you try to keep it a secret. As a result, people have a hard time recovering because of being emotionally flooded with shame.
What Does BED Look Like In Action?
Binge eating disorder serves a purpose. Realize the binging is a dysfunctional coping mechanism to deal with extreme negative emotions. A main trigger is heightened anxiety, and feeling out of control. I’ve found that often stems from unfortunate circumstances of someone being stuck dealing with environments and situations that are out of their control. Because of this traumatic conditioning, thoughts and feelings start to rapidly spin out of control. The response is to gorge on food as a means of numbing the pain and anxiety. Another common behavioral pattern seen is a person restricts their food intake all day. This rigid attempt at control eventually slips into losing control and binging. The cycle of binge eating feels like a swirl of compulsive destructive actions.
Binge eating Disorder – How Can I Get Help?
Getting help quickly is critically important because of the serious potential health consequences. BED has a strong potential to lead to weight gain/obesity, low self esteem, and depression. The rapid excessive eating can cause injury to internal organs. Bingers often eat easily accessible snacks and comfort foods full of processed fats, empty calories, and sugars. This really ups the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. There are therapeutic resources in your community to help break the stigma. Ask your support system to help you recognize your triggers and find other constructive ways to cope. There are more proactive ways to handle the discomfort. You are worth doing the hard work to recover and rehabilitate. There is research out now that supports this. The goals of treatment for someone with BED are breaking the cycle of rapidly escalating anxiety, and impulsive self destructive reactions. Mastering this requires taking a pause, delaying gratification, and separating the thought from the action. It’s all about creating space between emotions and action
Jennifer L. Zauner, LCSWR
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