When people think of eating disorders, they probably think of anorexia or other eating disorders that people develop in an attempt to lose weight. These are not only more visible in society, but are frequently studied and discussed, making them better known.
However, there are numerous types of eating disorders, and not all of them are used for weight loss. Binge eating disorder, for example, often has nothing to do with weight, but is about food. Many people enjoy the taste of the food they eat. They can use it as a coping mechanism to deal with past experiences.
WHAT IS BINGE EATING DISORDER?
Binge eating disorder is an eating disorder characterized by overeating, especially in a short period of time and regardless of hunger levels. Many people with this eating disorder report that they feel like they have no control over their eating habits.
For example, even when they know they are not hungry or want to stop eating, they continue to eat. Some may have a sense of pleasure or relief at the beginning of the meal, or even throughout the process. But these can be replaced by feelings of guilt, disgust, or sadness after the binge episode ends.
For some people, binge eating disorder is associated with bulimia, which is an eating disorder characterized by bingeing, followed by purging of what was eaten. Many people with bulimia use purging as a way to lose weight instead of focusing on bingeing as a behavior. However, each person is different. Not everyone who binges purges, and not everyone who purges after overeating is trying to lose weight.
Those with binge eating disorder can eat to the point of feeling uncomfortably full. They can also eat faster in less time than average. They may feel disgusted or guilty about their eating behavior. In addition, they may eat alone or in private to try to alleviate those feelings of guilt or disgust.
Binge-eating behaviors, especially if left untreated, can lead to many health problems. Since many people who overeat in this way are obese, they can experience high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, and many other life-threatening conditions. Additionally, those who engage in binge eating as part of bulimia may also experience problems with the gastrointestinal system, poor nutrition, and other negative health effects associated with eating disorders.
FIVE CAUSES OF ATTRACTIONS
Treating this eating disorder requires a fundamental understanding of the causes of the behaviors. That information can help a person better understand the disorder to seek effective treatment. It can be difficult to determine the causes of binge eating disorder due to its nature as a psychological condition that acts similarly to an addiction. However, there are factors that can contribute to the behavior.
1 - GENETICS.
People with increased sensitivity to dopamine may be more likely to develop binge eating disorder due to the dopamine released when they eat. Additionally, research published in CNS Spectrums indicates that this disorder can be inherited.
2 - FAMILY HISTORY.
Those with a family history of binge eating disorder or addiction may be more likely to develop binge-eating behaviors. You can see this behavior as normalized, for example. As mentioned, there is also some evidence that binge eating disorder can be inherited. As a result, people with a family history of this disorder may be more likely to develop it themselves.
3 - OTHER PSYCHOLOGICAL CONDITIONS.
Those with other conditions, such as depression or anxiety, may use food as an attempt to self-medicate. Additionally, research published in Biological Psychiatry indicates that people with eating disorders, such as binge eating, commonly have additional psychological conditions, which can make people with psychological conditions more likely to develop binge behaviors.
4 - EMOTIONAL OR PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA.
Those who experience trauma, whether they seek professional help or not, often find ways to cope with their experiences on their own. Binge-eating behaviors can be one way people cope with their trauma, according to research published in Psychiatry Research. The pleasure derived from eating masks negative emotions that come from traumatic experiences. As a result, trauma can be a risk factor for this eating disorder.
5 - BODY SIZE.
About half of those who seek treatment for binge eating are obese. This number shows that obesity is not always a risk factor for the disorder. Furthermore, it also cannot be ruled out by examining potential causes.
Weight problems can contribute to binge-eating behaviors, as well as being the result of those behaviors. This risk factor can also be related to body image. That is, if a person has had body image issues due to a larger body size, that person is more likely to engage in binge-eating behavior.
While these factors may be contributing factors to binge eating disorder, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders states that there is no definitively known cause of the disorder. It is most likely caused by a number of factors in the individual's life, both innate and environmental, that lead to eating behaviors.
CHANGING THE MIND TO OVERCOME THE DRAWS
Since binge-eating behaviors are unique to each person, it is important to develop an equally unique treatment. Understanding the underlying causes of the disorder, how it manifests, and other factors helps to develop an effective natural treatment to alleviate behaviors and help the individual become healthier.
1 - THERAPY.
Counseling, either individually, in a group, or both, is an effective way to address binge-eating behaviors. Therapeutic settings provide the opportunity to understand the true causes of behaviors, how to address them, and what can be done to change unwanted behaviors.
This eating disorder is psychological in nature. Therefore, therapy addresses the psychological component of the behaviors so that the individual can find relief. Getting to the root of binge-eating behaviors can help the individual learn the best way to find healthier coping skills, resolve trauma, and move to healthier practices. This method is helpful because the individual works with a trained professional who has a psychological understanding of the disorder.
2 - BEHAVIORAL WEIGHT CONTROL PROGRAMS.
A behavioral weight loss program is a more comprehensive approach than diet. These types of programs recognize that behaviors need to be addressed to change eating choices. These programs give people the tools to make healthier choices, including healthy foods and portion sizes, as well as exercise, while also addressing the issues that lead to eating patterns. This multifaceted approach, along with the support of other program attendees, can be an effective way to eliminate binge-eating behaviors.
3 - CHANGES IN THE DIET.
Some people find that they can curb their behaviors by making dietary changes, such as eating small meals frequently throughout the day or choosing different types of foods. This allows them to feel more satisfied throughout the day and reduces the likelihood of overeating at their usual meal times. Knowing the best dietary changes to make depends on the reasons an individual engages in binge-eating behavior.
4 - CHANGES OF PERSPECTIVE.
For many people, changing eating behaviors requires a change in perspective. This is especially true for those who develop this eating disorder as a coping mechanism from a trauma or some other experience. Changing your perspective provides a way for people to view food differently and instead rely on non-food methods to cope with their experiences.
Learning to change your perspective often comes with the support and assistance of a therapist or another program specifically designed to help people with this disorder.
5 - SUPPORT.
Many compulsive eaters tend to eat in private. It may be because they feel guilty about eating or because they want to prevent others from knowing how much they eat. However, curing this disorder requires a strong support system. Having people to lean on during these changes can help ensure accountability. Additionally, loved ones can help people resist the temptation to overeat through distraction, conversation, or other methods.
Although binge-eating behaviors can be serious and lead to health problems, the disorder can be treated. Many people who overeat in this way know that it is detrimental to their health. They may even want to stop. However, it is the disorder and their perceptions of eating that prevent them from doing it themselves. That is why seeking help is critical to success.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON DEALING WITH DRAWINGS
Understanding the causes of the disorder is necessary to develop an effective treatment plan. By understanding why a person chokes on food, appropriate interventions can be developed to help develop healthier coping mechanisms and healthier behaviors.
Since each person experiences the disorder differently, including the causes, a successful treatment will be equally unique. Although the causes vary, there is no doubt that there is a psychology behind them. Therefore, patients should also be counseled on treatment.
Once a person receives help and proper treatment, they can progress to the healthy and happy person they deserve to be. And that's the only lasting solution to beat bingeing.