Binge Eating Disorder
If you find yourself eating in secret, eating until you feel uncomfortably full, and feel a sense of shame after eating, you may be struggling with Binge Eating Disorder (BED). Some people use binge eating as a way of coping with difficult emotions, and over time feel unable to break free from complex patterns of thoughts, emotions and behaviours.
On this page you can explore what binge eating disorder may feel like, and how the vicious cycle of bingeing, self-loathing and seeking emotional comfort through food can make you feel trapped.
You can also find out more about binge eating disorder treatment, how psychological and nutritional interventions are part of binge eating disorder therapy, and how working with some of the deeper themes and patterns provide binge eating disorder help and support.
Below you can read some of the characteristics used to diagnose binge eating disorder.
- Eating a large quantity of food, more than most people would consume, within a 2-hour period
- Feeling out of control while eating, that you cannot stop eating, or control how much you eat
- You eat fast
- You continue eating, even when feeling full
- You feel shame and disgust about your eating behaviour
WHAT IS BINGE EATING DISORDER LIKE?
Binge eating disorder can make you feel intense feelings of shame and self-loathing about the way you eat. You may experience secretly bingeing on vast amounts of food, even when you are not hungry, to the point of feeling uncomfortably full.
A difficult day at work, a bust-up with a loved one, or just a feeling that your life is dull and boring can all be triggers that cause you to binge eat. Binge eating is a learned behaviour, and at some point, often in childhood years, we learn that eating our favourite foods gives us comfort, somehow the emotional stress we are feeling is numbed.
Over time this coping strategy becomes a habit, and the negative consequences of a harsh inner critic, feelings of shame, and issues with weight and health soon negate the benefits of using food to avoid unpleasant emotions.
Often people who struggle with binge eating have an unhealthy relationship with their weight and body image. Following a binge eating episode, some people feel an intense need to compensate their overeating with restrictive dieting for several days.
This in turn may create nutritional imbalances, intense cravings and a drive for compulsive overeating. With your physiology and emotions in chaos, it is easy to become trapped, and feel helpless, in a constant binge eating cycle.
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THE CYCLE OF BINGE EATING DISORDER
This is how some of our clients describe feeling trapped in a cycle of binge eating.
A few days into your healthy eating plan, things are going well. Then often out of nowhere you find yourself eating, everything you can lay your hands on.
Cakes, crisps, biscuits, chocolate, bread, cereal – you know you shouldn’t be eating it, however, you can’t stop your compulsive overeating, and you complete your binge. Quickly and in secret you devour the food. For a brief period, you are in oblivion, finding release from stress and feeling numb as you escape from your troubles.
You feel a momentary rush of pleasure and excitement. You have left the world and nothing around you feels as important as eating.
All too swiftly though, the food is eaten, the wrappers and packaging strewn on the side, and you are perusing the damage. Guilt, shame and self-loathing quickly descend and you cannot believe it has happened again.
You berate yourself for your lack of willpower and feel hopeless to change. Tomorrow you promise yourself, things will be different.
Binge eating disorder therapy / binge eating help
If you are searching for binge eating help, you may feel at times powerless to change your relationship with food. During a binge eating episode, some people feel like they are on a ‘high’, and find it difficult to stop overeating once they have started.
After binge eating, you may feel guilty, disappointed and hopeless, unsure how you are going to change these patterns of compulsive overeating, and some people start isolating themselves from others.
Working with a trained binge eating disorder therapist is an important step to break the cycle. They will help you understand the key themes and issues that are maintaining your patterns of binge eating, and provide you with psycho-education, tools and skills to help you change your relationship with food.
Binge eating disorder therapy needs to work with both the psychological themes and nutritional imbalances that maintain binge eating disorder. Our binge eating disorder therapists are trained to work with both of these areas simultaneously.
We have also created a bespoke package called Reframe where you work with both a therapist and a nutritionist.
We have been specialising in the treatment of bing eating disorder since 2005. Let us support you with the binge eating help and therapy you are looking for.
STOP COMPULSIVE OVEREATING
Some people who struggle with binge eating may experience compulsive overeating. You may not feel hungry, but you feel unable to stop yourself from starting a binge.
When you have an obsessive compulsive urge to want to eat, it is often a way of diverting away from challenging, painful or overwhelming emotions.
During the binge, you may feel compelled to eat and unable to stop. This can lead to compulsive overeating until you feel uncomfortably full.
It might feel like a mindless habit, where you go into autopilot and become unaware of what you’re doing. For others, you may be aware that you don’t want to continue eating, but find yourself reaching for the next packet anyway.
This can activate a powerful inner critic, that can lead to you feeling ashamed, guilty frustrated and helpless.
Compulsive overeating may have more connections to thinking and behaviour for some people, while binge eating may have more of an emotional element for others.
Let us help you stop compulsive overeating. Book a call with our friendly assessment team using the calendar below. They will listen carefully to your experience, and then arrange a Discovery Session with one of our binge eating disorder therapists.
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BINGE EATING DISORDER TREATMENT
The focus of binge eating disorder treatment is to discover which triggers cause you to binge eat, to help you build new ways of coping with the stress / emotions these events bring, and to help you develop new thinking styles to deal with life in a positive and empowering way. Binge eating disorder treatment may include:
- Nutritional interventions to balance your blood and brain chemistry, and help reduce cravings
- Challenge old unhelpful eating habits and patterns, and support you in creating new behaviours in your life around food
- Develop emotional agility so you can name, feel and manage emotions without the need to use food to cut them off
- Identify thoughts, beliefs and assumptions that are keeping you stuck in your binge eating cycle, and learn skills to challenge them
- Build greater levels of self-esteem and self-worth as you start to change the deep beliefs that shape your self-concept of who you are
- Challenge negative body image and construct new positive ways of how you think and feel about your body
- Learn how to manage stress in your life, and find ways to be more assertive in relationships
- Help you build a toolkit of strategies to keep you on track
We believe binge eating disorder treatment needs to look at your nutrition, behaviour, thinking and emotions. Our expertise lies in providing you with the interventions that will help you feel in control of your eating.
CBT Therapy FOR BINGE EATING DISORDER
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can be a helpful therapeutic approach in binge eating disorder treatment.
CBT might include understanding how your thoughts, feelings and behaviours all interact to maintain your binge eating behaviour.
You will explore the triggers that lead to a binge eating episode, such as certain emotions or events, and work on challenging thought processes you have surrounding your relationship with food and eating.
Our CBT therapy for binge eating disorder can help you develop and test behavioural experiments to analyse your assumptions about your binge eating, and find healthier ways to cope with your overeating urges.
Planning how you will think and act differently will often lead to a change in your behaviour, and will help you avoid the negative emotions you can feel after bingeing.
Our CBT therapy for binge eating disorder can help you change your mindset, and feel better.
binge eating disorder support
Sometimes we develop an unhealthy relationship with food, often connected to childhood experiences and family patterns around eating. You can find more information on our page ‘Psychological Factors That In Obesity.’
We may seek comfort from food in response to negative emotions, and feel that food is a ‘constant’ that will not hurt or leave us. Without understanding the reasons for our emotional eating, we may struggle and seek binge eating disorder support.
Our experienced binge eating disorder therapists can work with you to explore the deeper rooted psychological issues that have influenced your relationship with food. Bringing awareness to patterns of thinking that have developed from past events, and working with you to redefine your relationship with food and eating.
Let us support you with binge eating disorder therapy and treatment.
Let us help you help you get your life back on track.
Let us help you feel better.
Learn more about Binge Eating Disorder
Here are some articles and blogs about binge eating disorder