Learn more about the dangers of binge eating in this article
What is Binge Eating?
Binge Eating symptoms and causes
In this disorder, an excessive amount of food is eaten in a short time. The food is not eaten with pleasure, but succumbs to a strong degree of loss of control. It does not require a feeling of hunger. Because of the lack of control and self-control, a feeling of guilt and disgust often arises in those affected after such recurring attacks of ravenous hunger.
In such an illness, those affected hide their eating fits from other people.
The causes of such a disorder are usually a complex interaction of various factors. Possible cornerstones that lead to an outbreak of the disorder can already arise in childhood. People who had an unhealthy relationship with food in their childhood or were overweight have an increased risk of binge eating. Another cause is dieting that is aimed at by a physically negative self-image. Especially those where large weight fluctuations occur and to be the decisive figurehead of oneself. And in order to compensate exactly this disturbed self-image and self-esteem, the affected persons take excessive food.
Exactly this grabbing to eat is a certain protective mechanism, an act of repression.
This creates a vicious circle.
Binge Eating Consequences
Binge eating is probably the most common eating disorder. About 2% of the population in Germany are affected. Many ignorant. In addition, those affected often try to hide their eating disorder out of shame and keep their binge eating attacks quiet. An exact indication of the frequency cannot be given.
The consequences of binge eating are numerous and creep in over a long period of time like a chain reaction. First the disorder eats into the psychic mind of a person and then spreads to the physical appearance and becomes visible to the outside world.
A disturbed self-image and self-esteem are often the basis for a progress of the disease. Does the psychological strain accompany the increasing difficulty in dealing with one’s own feelings? Many emotions like stress, boredom, sadness, fear or anger can become a trigger for a binge-eating attack. Emotions can not only be a trigger and trigger the urgent impulse to eat something, but can also confuse your own feelings. You are no longer the master of your feelings and impulsive impulses, which can also be violent or aggressive, occur.
Further consequences of this disorder are depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders or other addictions. Besides the psychologically progressing changes and consequences, visible physical changes also occur.
One of the first physically noticeable consequences of binge eating is probably weight gain. A majority of those affected are sooner or later overweight. Weight gain from eating attacks is particularly dangerous if it leads to obesity. It should be noted, however, that the disease also affects people of normal weight and, conversely, not every overweight person is affected by this disease.
Overweight is associated with complaints such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, cardiac arrhythmia and problems with the spine and joints due to increased stress.
Binge Eating Help
Due to the fact that the affected persons hide this disease from their fellow men and carry out their eating fits in silence, it is initially not possible for their environment to notice the disease. Only when the amount of food that the affected person eats becomes visible, or a visible change in weight is visible, relatives or friends can have a premonition. Otherwise, it is up to the affected person to take the initiative and get help.
With the help of psychotherapy, the current eating behaviour can be observed and analysed. The symptoms and causes of the illness, as well as the extent, since when, how often, which thought pattern/feelings and consequences are present, can be discussed in therapeutic sessions. With the help of nutritional advisors, those affected are introduced to a balanced and healthy diet, and a healthy relationship to food is established and strengthened.
Since nutrition alone is not enough, a certain amount of physical activity is also necessary. Accompanying physical exercises reduce the excess weight and strengthen a healthy and positive self-esteem and own body acceptance.
It is recommended to be professionally supported over a long period of time by a therapist, self-help groups or other counselling centres. If this is not the case, the risk of a relapse is increased. This can lead to the disease becoming chronic.