How many times has your favorite television program been interrupted by a weight loss commercial? Ads for dieting pills and programs like Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, Hydroxycut, and Weight Watchers inundate our lives with promises of weight loss and body satisfaction. Programs like these consume our population with ideals of body images that are unattainable and often unhealthy for most people.
This distorted body image is often seen in eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia Nervosa (BN) and Binge Eating Disorder (BED.) While Anorexia and Bulimia are more commonly recognized, Binge Eating Disorder is actually the most prevalent. In fact, according to the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), 3.5% of women and 2% of men have BED and approximately 35% of those seeking weight loss treatment can be diagnosed with BED.
So what exactly is Binge Eating Disorder?
Binge Eating Disorder or BED, is defined by the DSM-5 as:
“Recurring episodes of eating significantly more food in a short period of time than most people would eat under similar circumstances, with episodes marked by feelings of lack of control. Someone with binge eating disorder may eat too quickly, even when he or she is not hungry.” (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
BED was originally characterized in the DSM-IV as an Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). However, due to its increased prevalence it has been officially recognized as part of the Eating and Feeding Disorders in the DSM-5.
Many people view BED as an issue of overeating that can be remedied with dieting and exercise. However, the overeating is just the surface of the disorder. Beneath this surface there are deeper emotional aspects that are left unexplored. Feelings such as shame, disgust, loneliness, embarrassment, and guilt may be driving forces in the eating disorder along with anxiety and depression. BED can also lead to isolation and self-harm behaviors.
What can you do?
Educate yourself on BED and learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms.
Be supportive. Remember that BED is a psychiatric disorder, not a choice. Weight loss and dieting are quick fixes that don’t address the underlying emotions. Be sure to listen and validate their experiences.
Seek professional help. BED is a complex mental illness that left untreated can be fatal. Therapy and nutritional counseling are often used in treating those suffering from BED.
To Learn More About What Really Happens in BED? Call 800.760.3934 Now!
At Center For Discovery, we understand that while the symptoms of eating disorders can appear similar, the contributing factors are unique to each individual. If you would like to speak to someone about eating disorder treatment at Center For Discovery, or if you and your family are in crisis, please call us today at 800.760.3934. Your call is confidential and our staff is here to help answer any questions you have. Call now and speak to one of our highly trained admission specialists today. Or fill out this form for a FREE assessment.