BED – Not The Kind For Sleeping
Many people carry extra weight and some of us have an eating disorder, which is a mental health diagnosis. I know about eating disorders, from both a personal and professional (licensed professional clinical counselor) point of view. For the first half of my life I was a closet eater — I knew I was a sneak eater, and I knew I ate to the point of physical distress, but I didn’t know until recently that I had a binge eating disorder.
The mental health description of “binge eating disorder” includes the following, with my personal confessions in brackets:
- Eating a large amount of food in a short period of time [Yes, I could pack it away.]
- Lack of control over eating during the binge episode [In the midst of a binge, I would demand my hand to stop shoving cookies into my mouth, but it wouldn’t stop.]
- Eating until uncomfortably full [I would eat so much that my stomach ached intensely … chew a few Pepto-Bismols … curl up in a fetal position until the pain subsided … then I’d get up and gorge some more.]
- Eating large amounts of food when not physically hungry [I know I ate because of emotional, not physical, hunger.]
- Eating much more rapidly than normal [I inhaled my food.]
- Eating alone because you are embarrassed by how much you’re eating [I always preferred eating alone because I was the supreme dieter in public but in the private binger -- I could pack it away without others having the slightest notion of the vast quantity of food I’d consume.]
- Feeling disgusted, depressed, or guilty after overeating [Yes, yes, yes! I was often all three. That’s why I became a closet eater in the first place.]
Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the US, affecting over 8 million adults. Although BED is similar to bulimia, the binge eater doesn’t purge but retains the calories and, therefore, is almost always overweight.
Living with BED is hell, and help is available.
If you or someone you love suffers from BED, my book Stop Eating Your Heart Out: The 21-Day Program to Free Yourself from Emotional Eating is a first step.
In addition, many resources are listed, such as:
Academy for Eating Disorders 847-498-4274 www.aedweb.org
The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness 866-662-1235 www.allianceforeatingdisorders.com
Binge Eating Disorder Association 855-855-2332 www.bedaonline.org
Eating Disorder Information.com www.eating-disorder-information.com
Eating Disorder Recovery http://www.eatingdisorderrecovery.com
Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center 858-792-7463 www.edreferral.com
Eating Disorders Coalition 202-543-9570 www.eatingdisorderscoalition.org
Eating Disorders Information Network (EDIN) 404-816-3346 www.myedin.org
Eating Disorders Online.com 310-476-4924 www.eatingdisordersonline.com
Eating Disorders Treatment 866-575-8179 www.eating-disorder.com
The Gail R. Schoenbach F.R.E.E.D. Foundation (For Recovery and the Elimination of Eating Disorders) www.freedfoundation.org
Health at Every Size (HAES) www.haescommunity.org
National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) 866-633-4220 www.nedic.ca
National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) 206-382-3587 www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
Recovery Resources Online 877-284-0353 www.soberrecovery.com
Something Fishy 866-690-7239 www.something-fishy.org
Image from http://www.allianceforeatingdisorders.com/BED