Unlike the eating disorder of bingeing and purging (bulimia), where the person induces vomiting or ingests large amounts of laxatives in order to get rid of the food, bingeing is a psychological disorder that manifests itself by loss of control in which emotion and thinking patterns cause a person to take on dangerous eating habits, such as overeating. Usually, these habits are a way of coping with depression, stress or anxiety. Food, being the commodity of which the sufferer has lost complete control, becomes more of an enemy than a lifeless object. Binge eating is new to the long list of traditional eating disorders and is said to affect millions of people around the world. Persons ...view middle of the document...
Feelings of low-self esteem, unhappiness and discontentment with their body image are the key issues of compulsive overeating. Binge eaters usually have trouble in expressing their feelings as well as controlling their urges to overeat. (Binge Eating Disorder)
3. Social and cultural causes of binge eating disorder
Advertising plays a major role in subjecting binge eaters to emotional eating due to the fact that the “thin” message is advertised everywhere, i.e, television, magazines, billboards, etc. It is also said that parents have influenced the succession of binge eating among their children “by using food to comfort, dismiss or reward their children” (Binge Eating Disorder, 3) while frequently commenting about their weight and body image. Another major cause of binge eating is sexual abuse during childhood. (Binge Eating Disorder)
How is binge eating disorder diagnosed?
Another eating disorder that is similar to binge eating is bulimia nervosa. People with bulimia nervosa will self-induce vomit, over-exercise or use other ways to lose their caloric intake. People with binge eating disorder do not express these symptoms; in fact binge eating causes them to be overweight. Their symptoms include frequent uncontrollable bingeing and feeling upset during or after bingeing. Below is an example of a person suffering from binge eating disorder.
“Steve has struggled with weight problems for as long as he can remember. But over the past six months, he’s been bingeing more and more frequently and has packed on another 50 pounds. Steve is really anxious about the weight gain. He hates the way he looks and he’s worried about developing diabetes, which his doctor tells him is a very real risk. But he doesn’t know how to stop his out-of-control eating. Steve tries to eat normally, but as the day goes on, the compulsion to binge gets stronger and stronger. On the way home from work, Steve usually gives in to the urge. First he goes through two different fast food drive-ins, ordering two cheeseburgers, a large order of fries, a chocolate shake, coleslaw, and a bucket of fried chicken. Then he pulls into a secluded parking spot and wolfs everything down in his car. Next, he heads to the grocery store to grab donuts, cookies, and chips. Once he’s home alone, Steve starts in on the snacks. He doesn’t stop until the food is gone or he’s so stuffed that he feels sick. Afterwards, he berates himself for being such a pig, but he knows it won’t be long until he binges again.“ (Binge Eating Disorder, 1)
Normally, the disorder is discovered when patients seek help from their doctor for weight-loss treatment. If binge eating disorder is suspected, the doctor will run many tests and exams such as x-rays and blood work to ensure there is no physical illness. When the results of the tests and exams are negative, the doctor will refer the person to a mental illness specialist, i.e., psychiatrist or psychologist who will...