Binge Eating and How it’s a Mental Illness

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Do you get the urge to eat a lot of food whenever you feel unpleasant feelings such as sadness, frustration, anxiety, fear, or loneliness?  Naturally, some people would think that food is your only friend when you’re in a slump but what your doing is binge eating. Binge eating isn’t very serious unless it gets worse and all you ever do is eat when you feel this surge of unpleasant emotions. In any case, you might be experiencing a binge eating disorder.

What is Binge Eating Disorder?

In simpler terms, binge eating disorder is a condition where you resort to eating a lot of food when you’re experiencing unpleasant feelings and emotions. It is a serious, life-threatening, yet treatable eating disorder marked by recurring periods of eating excessive amounts of food to the point of discomfort. After, you might feel a sense of lack of control after the binge and start exhibiting embarrassment, depression, or remorse during the binge. And lastly, you’re not doing anything to counteract or prevent yourself from binge eating.

Warning Signs & Symptoms

Emotional & Behavioral

Some emotional and behavioral warning signs and symptoms of binge eating disorder are

  • You start to go into a spiral and eat whenever you’re sad or frustrated, 
  • You might get a fear of eating with others thinking that they might judge you,
  • Hoarding or stashing food in places you only know, 
  • Creates a lifestyle that caters to make time for binge sessions,
  • Withdrawing yourself from your family and friends,
  • Showing concern towards your weight and body shape,
  • Eating alone due to embarrassment,
  • Low self-esteem,
  • Developing a certain taste for certain foods, and lastly,
  • Having feelings of disgust, depression, or guilt after binge eating.

Physical

There would also be physical warning signs and symptoms you might experience when you’re experiencing a binge eating disorder such as:

  • Fluctuations in your weight and
  • Stomach problems such as stomach aches, indigestion, acid reflux, and constipation.

Consequences of Binge Eating

There are numerous consequences that you might experience when binge eating. The first is you might gain more weight that could lead to obesity. When you binge eat, you are more likely to gain weight. You gain weight by consuming an excessive amount of food in a brief amount of time and not burning off the calories with exercise. Many people who binge are often self-conscious about their weight. This leads to low self-esteem, which can lead to even more binge eating. And obesity can also lead to another whole list of medical conditions such as cancer and diabetes.

Second, you might get a heart condition. Obesity makes it more difficult for the heart to pump blood to the lungs and body. Having a huge amount of weight, particularly around the waist, increases the chances of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar. Both of these factors increase the chances of suffering a heart attack or having a stroke or seizure.

Lastly, you might develop a major depressive disorder. Those suffering from binge eating disorder are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. Many people who binge eat are doing it to improve their mood and when it does not boost their mood, they would tend to binge more, in hopes to improve their mood. 

What To Do

Treatment for binge eating disorder depends on the severity and the persons’ goals. Treatment can range from focusing on binge eating, obesity, body appearance, mental health problems, or even a combination of these.

Some treatment includes weight loss therapy, cognitive-behavioral counseling,  dialectical behavior therapy, psychological psychotherapy, and medication. These can be done one-on-one, in a group environment, or a self-help style.

Though, it’s best to consult with a health professional for them to better understand your situation to be able to diagnose and give you a treatment plan that will fit you.

Overall

Eating excessive amounts of food is normal at times but when it starts to affect your mental and physical health, then it becomes a serious matter. You need to consult with a professional like CNS to help you so that you won’t experience any consequences that may badly affect your health.

Categories: blogmental health

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