What is Binge Eating Disorder, or BED? For one, BED is a serious disorder that is treatable but devastating for many patients who suffer from it. It is characterized by episodes of binging, that can result in various feelings that are very hard to deal with. But, BED definitely is not just about the food; there is a whole other side to it that other people don’t know about.
What causes BED? We still do not know exactly what BED is caused by, but it is found to be influenced by many different factors, including biological, environmental, and social ones. Unfortunately, when people do binge, their brain releases chemicals not unlike those released when taking painkillers, that make overeating addictive. BED really is a tremendously difficult disorder to overcome.
Let’s talk about some facts, shall we?
1. BED is very much like other, more well-known eating disorders. Like people who suffer from bulimia, or anorexia, victims of BED suffer from many negative feelings that can be demanding, and fatiguing to deal with.
2. Looks aren’t everything. At all. Weight doesn’t always mean that somebody has a disorder. Many people who are affected by BED are average, and even underweight.
3. BED does not result from a lack of self-control, or understanding what they should/should not do. People with BED are often very strict about their diet during the day, which makes them vulnerable to overeating during other times. They also work hard a lot, and can be perfectionists.
4. There are many different feelings that people combat with when they suffer from BED. Many feel a plethora of negative feelings about themselves that can wear them down just trying to deal with it on a daily basis. Trying to manage their feelings every day in order to function is exhausting for many.
5. The most important thing to do is to understand, support, and listen to them. For helping someone recover from BED, it is crucial to lend them your heart and ears. Perhaps the hardest part of getting better for some people is understanding that they do not have a reason to be ashamed of themselves. Listening to how they feel, and showing compassion for their situation is a vital part of their recovery.
BED is not a disorder that is uncommon. In fact, it is actually the most common eating disorder in the US – 2.8 million people suffer from it. Just know that, if you suffer from it, you are not alone. There are people around you who care about you, and will support you on your road to recovery.