Binge Eating Disorder (abbreviated as BED) is an eating disorder characterised by recurrent bingeing episodes, similar to the episodes as seen in Bulimia Nervosa, but with a distinct lack of compensatory behaviours. This eating disorder commonly co-occurs with obesity.
Binge-eating Disorder is not currently recognised by the DSM-IV, but is instead treated under the heading of EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified).
What distinguishes Binge-eating Disorder as an eating disorder compared to simply bingeing on food (which most people do time to time), is the emotional aspect and relationship to the food, and more specifically the binges. It is thought that binge-eaters use food to cope with stress and negative emotions. After bingeing a sufferer may have feelings of guilt, low self-esteem, suicidal ideation, disgust and depression.
Behavioral symptoms of binge eating and compulsive overeating
Emotional symptoms of binge eating and compulsive overeating
"Suffering with anorexia and binge eating disorder one after another have both been very painful experiences. I had anorexia for four years and having been discharged from hospital I was on top of the world and thought I was pretty much recovered at LONG LAST! However a relapse into depression sent my eating awry once more, but this time in the opposite direction. My eating had been erratic before but never to the point of weight gain... however that winter my turmoil of self hatred it spiral out of control like never before. I gained a lot of weight and as drugs helped the depression I was left to deal with my new found curves and unhealthy eating habits by myself.
Binge eating disorder and anorexia are very similar in the fact that they are both bad ways of coping with negative feelings. When I was anorexic and felt bad I would starve, whereas with BED I would binge, hoping the sweetness of the food would ease my pain momentarily. When suffering from binge eating disorder it is virtually impossible to talk about. You feel the things you do are so disgusting and you are too ashamed to tell anyone. I remember emptying the cupboards at home of all chocolate... then running to co-op to replace everything I had eaten before my mum got home and found them missing, but then eating half of the stuff I had bought on the way home.
After every binge I promised to myself never again... this would be the last time I lost control and I would restrict my food intake dramatically in an attempt to lose weight, but my body was so terrified of starvation I found weight loss impossible. I would starve myself most of the day and then come home so desperate for sustenance I would grab anything and everything to hand.
On my mind all the time was the thought that I was fat, disgusting and a failure.
I am still not entirely sure how I am going to recovery from BED. But I am sure that I will. I think it will come when I take the emphasis off weight loss and start concentrating on the things that actually matter in life. I am not there yet but I will not let this beat me. I am impatient for my weight to drop to a normal level but I am beginning to accept starvation is not the key.
For anyone reading this who is suffering. You are not alone and keep fighting. You will recover." - Anonymous
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