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Binge Eating Disorder Guide

Christine Jeffries

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Why Do I Binge?

By Kacie Irby
 
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First off, signs of binge eating are fairly easy to recognize. Many women who binge starve themselves until they can’t handle it anymore, then overeat.

Binging can result in eating until uncomfortably full, eating when not hungry, eating alone because they are embarrassed about how they eat, and feeling disgusted and guilty for overeating. It could also lead to Bulimia.

Depression is a major factor in overeating. Comfort eating is how a lot of people deal with sadness and anger and if they feel guilty for it they might put it off as much as they can until they binge.

Dieting is another cause. If your version of dieting is skipping meals or eating very small portions you may not be getting enough nutrition. Especially, if your body is not used to the diet, it can cause your body to think that it is starving. If it thinks it’s starving, then all of the food that you consume on your binge will most likely be stored, because your metabolism will be off.

Another cause is genetics. Binge eating can be common within a family. It may be that they deal with the same environmental factors, such as stress, or it could be that they all react to their emotions the same way; by eating.
Whatever the cause is, the effects are usually the same.

Some people become antisocial because of embarrassment. They may become more flaky and miss out on work , school, or important commitments, especially if they binge because of depression.

Weight gain, trouble sleeping, type II diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol can occur, as well.

Many forms of therapy are available to those with a binge eating disorder. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps people learn to deal with stressers. Interpersonal psychotherapy helps sufferers learn how to improve their relationships and improve certain areas of their lives.

And if needed, some prescriptions are helpful in treatment. Drugs are controversial types of therapy, but some chemical imbalances increase the disorder.

But, one of the best ways to help any problem is to increase exercise.

Add a Comment4 Comments

Kacie Irby

You made some good points

April 25, 2009 - 10:19pm
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

I totally agree that so much of binge eating is environmental. If one person, then two people, then three people in a family tend to be lazy or fight or smoke or overeat, the tendency is that the rest of the family has an increased chance of following suit.

What is done on an everyday basis by people becomes normal behavior. If all you have ever known is parents, grandparents and extended family who overeat, then more than likely you will overeat too. Any behavior can be considered normal (even if it's not) if one grows up seeing it on a regular basis.

Binge eating is a huge problem in this country and in many others! We have distorted portion sizes, we have supersized everything and don't seem to understand the feeling of fullness. We have also added soft drinks to meals and dessert seems mandatory, rather than a treat.

I also agree that exercise is helpful. It won't do much if a person consumes too many calories that exercise can't eliminate but it can absolutely help against depression and may be a natural step to cutting back on foods. Once a person cuts back on all the calories, exercise will help to eliminate excess fat and maintain a healthy body and mind.

April 25, 2009 - 6:37am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

I really need some help because I keep going to eat too much at night.. I can't stop and then I'm feeling guilty. I used to eat junk food and have to finish everything than I open even if it's a big portion.. In the morning, I don't want to wake up because I hate myself and feel disgusting... I feel alone because I don't want that my friends and family see me with swollen face and body. .I don't have enough courageous to do sport because my body is tired and my belly so big of food..I need some help in orden to control my food portion.

April 26, 2009 - 8:17pm
Diane Porter (reply to Anonymous)

Anon, welcome to Empowher. I'm so glad you found this thread.

First, please don't hate yourself. There are thousands and thousands of women who have experienced or who are experiencing this. You are not alone at all.

It sounds like you are eating for comfort. Am I right? There's nothing to be ashamed of there. It is a fairly natural response to stressful times in our lives. The problem is only when we can't stop, and it sounds like this is an issue that's now giving you much more pain than comfort.

Can you tell me how long this has been going on? Do you know what got it started?

Are you severely overweight or just enough that it makes you feel bad?

Is there something going on in your daily life that is causing you stress or unhappiness? Do you think you might have depression?

Here's some great news: You asked for help. That's huge. That means that you're ready to think about making some small changes in your life in order to feel better. And for that, here's a big pat on the back.

Let me give you a few resources to look at on the web.

First, about binge-eating. Did you know that there's actually a binge-eating disorder? Here is a page about it on EmpowHer:

http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/binge-eating-disorder

And here is some information from the Mayo Clinic:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/binge-eating-disorder/DS00608

Do you have the ability to seek help from a therapist? Your doctor could probably refer you to one if you aren't sure how to find one on your own. Eating disorders are tough to conquer entirely on your own. It helps to have a therapist to work through these issues with you.

Second, have you ever heard of Overeaters Anonymous (OA)? It is set up like Alchoholics Anonymous -- which means it is free, and no one would ever know that you went there -- and it deals with food issues. You can click on their home page and find a meeting in your area:

https://www.oa.org/

Here is a sentence from that page: "OA is not just about weight loss, gain or maintenance; or obesity or diets. It addresses physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. It is not a religious organization and does not promote any particular diet. If you want to stop your compulsive overeating, welcome to Overeaters Anonymous."

Do you feel as though any of this would help?

Do you need help finding a therapist in your area? If so, just update us with your zip code (or message me privately) and we'll try to help.

Please write back and let us know how you're doing. You have a lot of support here.

April 27, 2009 - 9:42am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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