Binge eating is a condition that affects both men and women. In a consumption-orientated culture that enables excessive eating and drinking, it can feel difficult to identify a binge eating disorder from simply bad eating habits. For example, an occasional episode of overeating does not qualify as a binge eating disorder. But if you are regularly overeating for the sole purpose of eating, if you feel a compulsion to eat and then feel disgusted or ashamed afterwards, or if you plan out eating binges and then binge eat while you are alone, you may have an eating disorder. If this is the case, you should talk to our private psychiatrist in London or book an appointment to see one our qualified psychologists.
It may be that a combination of therapies is necessary to help you address why you are binge eating. There are three primary steps in binge eating recovery:
The first step in binge eating recovery is to identify the triggers that ignite the compulsion to binge. For many people, the triggers to binge eat are things like fear, anxiety and stress. But everyone has individual triggers that set off their need to binge eat. Often those triggers have to do with things that are outside of their control, and binge eating may be a way of helping sufferers feel like they have that control again. Excessive eating can also be triggered by an obsession with perceived physical flaws. Someone who feels overweight and unattractive may not eat at all during the day and then binge alone at night in an effort to process their negative feelings and low self-esteem. A trained therapist will help sufferers identify these triggers.
Let go of the need for control
People who feel like they have no control or power in their lives may binge eat because the food that they eat and the amount that they eat may be the one thing that they feel is totally within their control. For example, victims of abuse or trauma may develop a binge eating disorder because as children they lacked the power to get away from the abusive situation that were in. They may internalise their anger and other negative feelings that resulted from this abuse, and overeating may be a way of stopping those feelings from reappearing. This is destructive behaviour, however, and, although these coping mechanisms and sense of control may seem to offer some immediate relief, individuals who binge eat are doing themselves physical and emotional harm.
Heal the emotional pain causing the binging
That’s why the third step in binge eating disorder recovery is healing the underlying emotional trauma that caused the binge eating in the first place. You will likely be offered a review from one of our psychiatrists, who will be working also with your GP and a nutritionist, while psychological therapy, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy, is offered to help you address the issues causing your anxiety and compulsions.
Contact us today to book an appointment for a consultation.