People living with binge eating disorder (BED) come to this disease from so many different perspectives. Food becomes an obsession to numb out emotional trauma, physical pain, mental illness, and more. It’s a transfer behavior when someone is trying to get free from drugs and alcohol. And the size that often comes with long-standing leads to shame, guilt, embarrassment and estrangement from family, spouses, partners, and even society as a whole keeps many binge eaters from seeking help.
This is a disease that is three times as common as anorexia and bulimia combined, but has the fewest resources available to those who suffer. The result is people often feel helpless and hopeless. In addition, they thing the answer is to lose weight, but the research shows that those efforts only increase the drive to binge, relapse, self-loathe, and return to the eating disorder.
You are not addicted to food. You are not unlovable. And you are not beyond help. You have a mental health condition, a brain disorder, an eating disorder. You can recover. It will take a lot of work, but it is worth it. You can get you social, emotional, physical, familial, and spiritual life back.
Don’t let the anxiety of being a person in a bigger body keep you from going out of your house and seeking the help you need. Don’t think for a second that you don’t deserve to be helped and that you are lacking will power or have any other personal flaws that should keep you from treatment.
Learn the origins of your binge eating. Learn the physical and psychological underpinnings of this disorder. Figure out how to feel your emotions and live with them. Figure out how to be positive role model for your family. Food is always going to be a part of your life, so learn how to make peace with it and peace with yourself.
You’ll feel worse before you feel better, but you are worth it. Recovery is worth it.
By Andrew Walen, LCSW-C, LICSW, CEDS - Founder and CEO at The Body Image Therapy Center. If you would like to get in touch with Andrew please call 877-674-2843 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.