Posts Tagged ‘Binge Eating Disorder’

Worried about Relapse?

Girl looking over river

Eating disorder recovery is challenging and it’s not one-size-fits-all. Recovery is often thought of as nonlinear because individuals sometimes don’t follow a predetermined path and may find themselves taking one step forward and two steps back. While this aspect of recovery can be frustrating, it’s important to remember that the correct path to recovery is the exact path that we are on. By not comparing ourselves to others in recovery or wishing we had an easier path, we can focus our efforts on healing and mending our relationship with food and body.

What is classified as a relapse?

An eating disorder relapse is characterized by any return to eating disorder behaviors and symptoms. Common examples of returning to eating disorder behaviors include skipping meals, counting calories, or measuring weight. Warning signs of an impending relapse include:

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Eating Disorder Recovery and Grief

Man sitting on ledge

Eating disorders and grief have a multifaceted, complex relationship. Eating disorders may arise following a traumatic situation, after a loss, or during any period of grief. In addition to potentially being a provoking factor in the development of an eating disorder for predisposed individuals, grief may also complicate recovery and may make it more challenging. On top of this, individuals in recovery may also find themselves grieving their eating disorder, which adds another layer of difficulty onto the recovery process.

What is Grief?

Grief is a normal, albeit overwhelming, response to a loss of any kind. While grief is typically associated with death, grief can also follow a variety of experiences including relationship loss, a decline in health, miscarriage, physical or sexual assault, loss of a dream, etc.  

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Physical Effects of Binge Eating Disorder

Person looking out window

What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge Eating Disorder is an eating disorder that is denoted by excessive food intake, often driven by a need to soothe negative emotions. Those suffering from binge eating disorder (BED) repeatedly and uncontrollably eat extreme amounts of food, sometimes resulting in weight gain. Following episodes of bingeing, those with BED usually experience feelings of guilt, shame, or distress. In an attempt to regain control, individuals may begin to restrict food or try restrictive dieting, which often ends in another episode of bingeing, making weight loss challenging. This cycle of bingeing and restricting is challenging to break without professional treatment.

Binge eating disorder was added to the DSM-5 in 2013. According to the DSM-5, the key diagnostic features of binge eating disorder that must be met are:

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Why Eating Disorders are Serious

Man thinking by lake

Eating disorders are biologically based mental illnesses that are influenced by an individual’s environment, society, and psychological makeup. An eating disorder is an illness that causes an individual to experience disturbances in their eating habits and negative food or body-related thoughts and feelings. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) recognizes five kinds of eating disorders:

Anorexia Nervosa. Anorexia is characterized by extended and extreme food restriction and malnourishment that causes dramatic and sustained weight loss. Anorexia often presents with a fear of gaining weight and other body image issues.

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). ARFID is a feeding or eating disorder typically driven by fear, a lack of interest in food, or an avoidance of certain foods, resulting in continued failure to meet an individual’s nutritional needs. ARFID often presents without a drive for thinness.

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Does Extreme Dieting Lead to Eating Disorders?

Strawberries and a tape measure

When discussing the signs, symptoms, and roots of an eating disorder, it’s impossible to leave dieting out of the conversation. In recent years, research has uncovered the undisputable fact that dieting is a risk factor for the development of eating disorders.  According to NEDA, those who engage in moderate dieting are 5x more likely to develop an eating disorder and those who engage in extreme dieting are 18x more likely to develop an eating disorder.

What is dieting?

Dieting is defined as “the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person for a special reason (low-sodium diet to reduce high blood pressure)” or “a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight” or alter body size, shape, or appearance.  

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The Scale Doesn’t Define My Success

Smiling woman

This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors and symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist as needed.

Chris Camburn has been in the professional social work helping field for over 15 years. She is a wife, mom, cat lover, and an avid consumer of audiobooks. Her passions also include connecting with her spiritual side and other like-minded, passionate people.

This is a story of binge eating disorder, weight loss surgery, and recovery.

Three years ago, after so many years of gaining and losing weight cycles, I made the decision to make a permanent change in my life and have weight loss surgery. I thought this would be the answer to all of the problems and I would NEVER have to worry about food or weight issues again. I thought that “controlling” my diet by weight loss surgery would put me in control of my life, but I soon found out how wrong I was.

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