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Binge-Eating Disorder Awareness

Originally written by @Hope

Revised by @butterflyPessimist

What is a Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge-eating disorder is a serious eating disorder in which you frequently consume unusually large amounts of food and feel unable to stop eating. Almost everyone overeats on occasion, such as having seconds or thirds of a holiday meal. But for some people, excessive overeating that feels out of control and becomes a regular occurrence can indicate a binge-eating disorder.When you have binge-eating disorder, you may be embarrassed about overeating and vow to stop. However, you feel such a compulsion that you can't resist the urges and continue binge eating.

What are the symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder?
Behavioral symptoms
-Inability to stop eating or control what you’re eating
-Rapidly eating large amounts of food
-Eating even when you're full
-Hiding or stockpiling food to eat later in secret
-Eating normally around others, but gorging when you’re alone
-Eating continuously throughout the day, with no planned mealtimes

Emotional symptoms
-Feeling stress or tension that is only relieved by eating
-Embarrassment over how much you’re eating
-Feeling numb while bingeing—like you’re not really there or you’re on auto-pilot.
-Never feeling satisfied, no matter how much you eat
-Feeling guilty, disgusted, or depressed after overeating
-Desperation to control weight and eating habits

What factors can influence a Binge Eating Disorder?

Factors that can increase your risk of developing binge-eating disorder include:
Family history. You're much more likely to have an eating disorder if your parents or siblings have (or had) an eating disorder. This may indicate that inherited genes increase the risk of developing an eating disorder.
Psychological issues. Most people who have binge-eating disorder feel negative about themselves and their skills and accomplishments. Triggers for bingeing can include stress, poor body self-image, food, and boredom.
Dieting. Many people with binge-eating disorder have a history of dieting — some have dieted excessively during their childhood. Dieting or restricting calories during the day may trigger an urge to binge eat, especially if you have low self-esteem and symptoms of depression.
Your age. Although people of any age can have binge-eating disorder, it often begins in the late teens or early 20s.
Life Transitions. Drastic changes in life can increase the chance of a binge-eating disorder as people try and cope with what they’re going through.

Tips for helping a person with Binge Eating Disorder
-Encourage him or her to seek help. The longer an eating disorder remains undiagnosed and untreated, the more difficult it will be to overcome.
-Be supportive. Try to listen without judgment and make sure the person knows you care. If your loved one slips up on the road to recovery, remind them that it doesn’t mean they can’t quit binge eating for good.
-Avoid lectures or guilt trips. Binge eaters feel bad enough about themselves and their behaviour already. Lecturing, getting upset, or issuing ultimatums to a binge eater will only increase stress and make the situation worse. Instead, make it clear that you care about the person’s health and happiness and you’ll continue to be there.
-Set a good example by eating healthily, exercising, and managing stress without food. Don’t make negative comments about your own body or anyone else’s.
-Avoid simple ‘solutions’. Don’t say things such as, “Just stop eating.” Eating disorders are complex problems and simplifying them could make your loved one feel as though they don’t need help or they’re overreacting.


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