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Once you start binging/purging, why is it so hard to stop?

12 Answers
Last Updated: 05/08/2020 at 10:07pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
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Johanna Liasides, MSc


I work with youth and young adults to help them improve depressive symptoms and self-esteem as well as effectively address family, relationship and peer conflicts.

Top Rated Answers
January 12th, 2016 12:45pm
Binging and Purging is a psychological disorder it is a sub class of anorexia or bulimia, the reason that it is so overwhelmingly hard to stop is because its not voluntary, it is like having depression, you must work through the issues causing these acts before they can stop.
September 8th, 2015 2:42pm
When you binge, you satisfy all of the cravings that you've had and maybe been suppressing. You're able to stuff the feelings you don't want to feel while you try to fill some void you can't satisfy with food. This is a coping mechanism. However, then comes guilt and a wave of other emotions. Maybe you feel out of control, so you regain that control and deal with these other emotions by purging. Again, this is a way to cope. Once you establish this pattern of coping, it's easy to deal with your feelings this way. Then it becomes a habit that you have to break with healthy coping skills, and we all know how difficult it can be to break a bad habit, especially one that feels like it works.
March 3rd, 2017 10:21pm
Physiologically, the purging removes nutrients from your system that your body needs. Your body will panic and ask for more food. Psychologically, the binging and purging is probably the best way you know to cope with feelings. It feels very effective: it's distracting, you can be in the moment and it gives you a high. Once you learn healthier coping methods, you can be able to eliminate it from your life.
March 17th, 2015 1:51pm
It was so hard for me to stop because I would start feeling so ashamed of myself. If I kept going I would feel better BUT only for a few minutes. The more I would do, the more ashamed I would become. It's a hard cycle to break
October 31st, 2015 3:22pm
Binging and purging is highly addictive. You may do it for many different reasons but all in all it is addictive and like anything addictive it is very hard to stop.
May 1st, 2015 9:10am
because you already gave up. the lack of willpower causes you to go on till you fill your stomach up.
September 19th, 2016 5:16pm
It's hard because when you binge, you're basically discouting all your frustrations in food. You lose much of the sense of what you're doing, you just do... However, the second part functions more as a consequence, you can not stop purging because you feel guilt for having eaten everything you ate during binge. You feel you can not stop until we eliminate everything you've consumed.
March 20th, 2017 2:03pm
Once you fall in to a habit it is hard to break it. Most do not realize the health effects and dangers of purging or bingeing. It being hard to stop. It can happen. You need a strong support system around you and admit to them you have problem and need to work through it.
December 29th, 2015 2:08am
Because you become addicted to it wether it makes u feel better or gives you gratification you go back to it because you crave that feeling
September 5th, 2016 9:14am
Because it becomes an habit, your brain thinks that since you restrict it so much, when it sees food available it goes on survival mode. That means it wants to make you eat as much as you can so that you can survive when you're restricting.
November 8th, 2016 4:11pm
In one way, it is habitual and, we all know it's hard to break habits. However, binging/purging is a way to let go of emotions, to feel some sort of relief. It is a coping mechanism and, when something like binging/purging becomes a coping mechanism, it's hard to stop.
May 8th, 2020 10:07pm
In my opinion, it’s because it is very difficult to get rid of / reduce the guilt one attaches with eating food. Not being able to refrain from eating, to a person suffering from an eating disorder (most likely bulimia), generally will lead them to think that they’ve let themselves down, and that if they don’t vomit/purge, they’ll have to somehow learn to bear that intense guilt. Sadly, for someone undergoing an eating disorder, vomiting seems like an easier choice as not only will they think that the guilt will be over, they’ll also feel relieved that they’ve managed to satisfy their taste buds, but also managed to prevent the food from fuelling the body. In summary, it’s because one believes the guilt will never be over unless they purge out everything before it is fully digested by the body.