How Does Binge Eating Disorder Feel?

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I wanted to talk about how it feels to experience different mental health problems, so I decided to do a little series where I talked about depression, mania, anorexia and OSFED.

However, I don’t want to just limit this to my experiences or profess to understand how it feels to struggle with other difficulties that I’ve not been affected by. This post is by lovely Maddi from My Bitter Insanity, and she is talking about binge eating disorder. Thank you so much Maddi for offering your story and helping to spread awareness.

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I have Binge Eating Disorder (BED). It’s the most commonly diagnosed eating disorder, but it’s not talked about commonly enough.

For a very long time, I was left undiagnosed. I was so ashamed of my eating that I never talked about it, and when I did, I brushed it off. The idea that I wasn’t alone and that this wasn’t a personal flaw of mine never even crossed my mind.

I cried when a psychiatrist mentioned BED to me for the first time. Turning my ’emotional eating’ into a disorder was so validating and reassuring that I couldn’t hold back the tears. It’s not just me.

Binge Eating Disorder, like every eating disorder, is a complex and different experience for each sufferer. Everybody’s triggers can seriously vary — some people just it to feel better, to feel less, or just to feel something. I’ve used it for all three.

BED is characterized by binging — eating larger than normal amounts of food in a short period of time. For me, that often looks like two, three, or four servings of fast food all for myself. A huge component of BED is also hiding or hoarding food and disordered behaviours.

When I feel the urge to binge, it’s like something deep inside of me is crying out, pulling me to eat, and nothing will satiate it. Sometimes I’m feeling too much, other times I’m not feeling enough. Either way, I know that it’s time for me to ‘go for a drive’ — I get out of the house and spend every cent that I have to try and quiet the beast inside me. I hide; parked in my car, usually in the back of an empty parking lot, and I eat. I eat until I’m so disgusted with myself that I can’t even remember what the initial problem was.

I get home, and usually, by the time I’m back, I feel even worse than I did before. But at least now, the urge is gone. The intense pull that I can feel with my whole body is at least now quieted.

But now that the urge is gone, I have to deal with what’s left. Years of binge eating 3000-5000 calories at a time has left me with a body that feels so foreign. It’s a body over twice the size that it was meant to be, and a body seriously affecting my health and resistant to change.

Every change that I see in my body, it triggers that old familiar pull. The pull back to food. So, anytime that I’ve tried or wanted to lose weight, my crazy psyche just pushes me in the other direction.

So, for now, I’m stuck fighting with my own brain.

Eating disorders are unlike any other substance use or abuse disorder — because we need food. We can’t go without it and it is so intensely ingrained in our culture and society. I’m constantly surrounded by my worst enemy. Any time I just want to see a friend, spend time with family, or go to an event, food is there. (And my body comes with me.)

For me, staying healthy and eating right isn’t that simple. The solution to my weight isn’t to just ‘eat less’ — because my whole soul fights against me.

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If you want to find out more about Maddi I highly recommend you check out her twitter and blog.

Thanks again Maddi!

You can find another guest post in this series here, where Jenny is talking about how it feels to have anxiety.

Do you have any experiences you’d like to share that haven’t been featured? If so, head over to the ‘Contact Me’ page and let me know.

 

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5 comments

  1. Hi Cara. I’m very lucky that I have a healthy mental state, but I have family members who don’t but who aren’t the best at articulating, so your posts are really helping to give me an insight into how they might be feeling which I hope helps me to help them. Thanks so much for sharing 😁.

    Liked by 1 person

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