Treatment for a Binge Eating Disorder
Not everyone abuses a substance like cocaine or alcohol, but most of us abuse something. For a good portion of Americans, that something is food. Like drug or alcohol addicts, binge eaters are seeking comfort from their drug of choice. For some people, stress suppresses hunger. For binge eaters, the opposite happens.
Understanding the Food Binge
A food binge is characterized by two parts: overconsumption of food followed by a period of guilt and shame. You know the drill: You feel sad, so you eat. Then you feel sadder, so you eat some more…and some more…and some more.
Severe binge-eaters grapple with this cycle on a daily basis, which takes a tremendous toll on both their body and spirit. Success after failure, failure after success–the cycle becomes daunting after a while. Carrying the burden of an eating disorder can make it impossible to enjoy hobbies or activities. Many of these individuals, particularly the young ones, resort to purging, which means burning large quantities of fat unnaturally quickly. Methods of purging include vomiting, taking laxatives, over-exercising, or fasting.
For someone to be clinically diagnosed as a binge-eater, they must experience one or more binges per week for a period of 3 months or longer. Binge-eating disorder can be difficult to diagnose for the same reason many other behavioral disorders are difficult to diagnose: it’s incredibly common. Poor nutrition is so rampant, we’ve become desensitized to the problem. Also, binge-eaters can’t just avoid food temptation completely the way alcoholics can avoid alcohol: you have to eat.
Signs of a Binge Eating Disorder:
– frequent episodes of eating what others consider to be too much food
– frequent feelings of being unable to control how much you eat
– feelings of depression, guilt, or shame after overeating
– feelings of low self-esteem
– a loss of sexual desire
– eating more rapidly than most the people around you
– eating when you’re not hungry
– eating until you’re uncomfortably full
Although willpower is an undeniable factor in overeating, most nutritionists agree that the odds are stacked against us. The economy may be struggling as a whole, but the junk food industry is stronger than ever. There’s a correlation there. Research shows that foods high in fat, sugar, and salt can hook us like narcotics.
Struggling with an eating disorder? Contact one of our specialists here at Blueprints for Recovery and we’ll get you on the path toward recovery.