BINGE EATING DISORDER

Binge eating disorder can be fatal and is characterized by episodes of eating excessively past the point of fullness, followed by feelings of shame, guilt, embarrassment, etc. Those suffering from BED typically do not purge after an episode of binging. Most people who suffer from BED are diagnosed in their late teens or early 20s. However, BED can affect people of all ages.

 
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SYMPTOMS

Uncomfortable eating in public and around others

Irregular eating patterns

Low self-esteem

Fluctuating weight

Gastrointestinal issues

Obesity

 

STIGMA AROUND BED

Misconception vs. Reality

"You can only have BED if you are obese."
The criteria for diagnosis of BED has little to do with one’s weight. Formal diagnosis is based on specific eating patterns. Ridiculing those who are overweight or “fat shaming”, contributes to the feelings of shame that BED sufferers may experience after an episode of binge eating.

"People with BED enjoy eating."
Binge eating can sometimes provide temporary psychological relief for sufferers. Those suffering from BED can experience extreme physical and emotional discomfort after overeating.

"BED can be solved by fasting."
It is never safe to encourage unhealthy eating habits. People suffering from BED are susceptible to other eating disorders, which can make recovery and coping extremely difficult.

 

BINGE EATING TREATMENT

 Restoration to Healthy Eating Patterns
This process includes returning to a healthy weight through a specialized meal plan and establishment of healthy habits. This can be done with the help of a dietician who specializes in eating disorders. A primary care doctor, psychologist, or family member can be involved in the recovery process.

Psychotherapy
Specifically CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) or enhanced CBT to help with overcoming fears of certain foods, internalized fat phobia, body image issues, and low self-esteem. A therapist can help to identify and reframe unhealthy beliefs about one’s body in order to make recovery easier.

Medication
While there are not many medications that are specifically intended for treating eating disorders, medications that are used to treat other mental illnesses can be effective if prescribed by a licensed professional.

Hospitalization
Some people who struggle with eating disorders may require more intensive care in the form of hospitalization or residential treatment. During their hospitalization, a patient’s condition is monitored closely in order to ensure their health. As with other eating disorders, a doctor may observe hydration and electrolyte levels, heart, lung, or other organ disturbances, and other health problems. In residential care, the team may even force feed patients or withhold food which can be extremely traumatizing.

 
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RESOURCES

Project Calendula is intended to be a prelude for your mental health journey by guiding your education and advocacy. We are not a mental health service. 

If you or someone you know are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (U.S.): 800-273-8255

If you or someone you know are struggling, please visit the resources at the bottom of this section to find a mental health professional near you.


Please visit any of the following websites for further information on mental illness education.

HELP GUIDE

For more about treatment and self-care for binge eating, visit Help Guide below.

MAYO CLINIC

For an overview on causes, symptoms, treatment and more related articles visit Mayo Clinic.

EATING DISORDER HOPE

For an overview, more information on treatment, and related articles and resources, visit below.

 
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