There are normal eating behaviors, and there are abnormal attitudes towards food characterized by a lack of control. Impulsive, continuous eating even when not physically hungry, as well as eating at a rapid rate are signs of binging. Eating huge quantities in secret and feeling shame or guilt after the fact, also characterize binging. For these reasons, along with feelings of self-disgust, anxiety, and fear of disapproval, binge-eating disorder (BED) is considered a mental illness.
A multi-faceted problem
The episodes of abnormal eating behaviors in people with BED occur repeatedly. What differentiates someone diagnosed with the problem from similar disorders is the lack of compensatory action. This means the person does not engage over-exercising or self-induced vomiting just to try to offset the effects of taking in high volumes of food.
Binging comes with a wide range of problems, encompassing emotional, social, and physical changes in a person’s behavior. While weight gain or obesity often becomes the most obvious issue on hand, the people who are affected often suffer in silence with insomnia, depression. Meanwhile, some resort to substance abuse. The mental problems can even go as far as people affected having thoughts of or attempting suicide.
Getting the right kind of help
If you or someone close to you were starting to manifest binging behavior, you would notice the need to overeat arises due to a stressful situation. Perhaps it was a high-pressure day at work. Alternatively, maybe you are experiencing an emotional upheaval. You can argue that you are still physically healthy, but before you know it, BED can take hold of your life. Before you start nurturing an unhealthy relationship with food and eating, open up to someone close to you so you can get the right kind of help early on.
The most difficult aspect of BED is breaking a cycle that has already taken hold. You can prevent the vicious cycle from dominating your life and dictating your choices. If you have a binge eating disorder, help is usually just a phone call away.