Like with other eating disorders, binge eating disorder is not a choice but rather is a result of unresolved negative emotions, past events, the need to fit in, low self-esteem and other emotional and psychological triggers. Binge eating episodes are driven by psychological issues, such as the fear of failure or rejection, unmet expectations, or feelings of inadequacy. Binges may be spontaneous or planned. No purging is involved, but there may be sporadic fasting or repeat dieting. Individuals with binge eating disorder often use food to cover up their feelings and emotions. There is an immense sense of pleasure that results from eating food and our brain and stomach work together to send many happy signals and endorphins throughout our body however these pleasurable effects are immediate and short-lived. Once these endorphins, neurotransmitters and “feel good feelings” are gone, they are quickly replaced with feelings of shame, guilt and embarrassment. For individuals with binge eating disorder, certain foods are a drug; there is a complete loss of self-control during a binge because the pleasurable feelings overtake the body. This loss of control allows the underlying untreated emotions to dissipate, but only for a moment. The following are known underlying triggers and causes associated with binge eating disorder:
Our personalities, habits, though patterns and behaviors become ingrained during childhood and therefore both positive and negative experiences during our developing years can have an everlasting impact on us through adulthood. Childhood abuse and trauma is strongly associated with the development of binge eating disorder later on in life. Divorce, the loss of a parents, emotional, physical, mental, sexual and verbal abuse, bullying and neglect are all strongly linked with the development of a mental health disorder or low-self esteem resulting in harmful eating disorders such as binge eating disorder. Additionally family interactions with food such as shared mealtime, cooking as a family and going out to restaurants, as a family is a positive trait and protects against binge eating disorder.
Studies have shown that approximately 30% of individuals who partake in binge behaviors also practice self-harm behaviors such as cutting; thereby a direct link has been associated with bulimia nervosa and self-harm. Depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder are also closely linked with bulimia nervosa. Treating these underlying psychological disorders is necessary in order to treat binge eating disorder.
Center For Discovery's Treatment Centers specialize in treatment for eating disorders with unique treatment programs for every individual to get them on their way to eating disorder recovery.
For more information, resources, or to consult with an eating disorder treatment specialist, call 866.809.3843
Peer pressure, media influences and trending diet fads are all associated with the development of binge eating disorder. We live in a society where our image is measured by our body shape and physical appearance. Emotional stress, substance abuse, and the influence of social media are sociocultural factors known to contribute to the development of binge eating disorder.
The answers is no. Regardless of how much you may blame yourself or think this disorder is something you caused it is important to recognize that this is not your fault nor was it your choice. However, you do have the choices to ask for help and seek treatment for your binge eating disorder.