As a recovering person with Binge Eating Disorder, (BED), writing those kind of posts are extreamly hard for me at times. Emotionally, I’m all over the place. It’s hard to explain to someone “Hey, I’m emotionally addicted to food.” And not even in the standard “I have an addiction and it’s hard for other people who DON’T have the addiction to understand” kind of way.
No one needs heroin. Addiction to heroine = disease. Everyone needs food. Addiction to food = maybe you just don’t have any self-control. Even in the Facebook thread a couple of people brought up this fact. Wait, Binge Eating Disorder is a real thing?
Yes, it’s very real.
Yes, millions of Americans suffer from BED.
No, it’s not easy to understand.
… but Yes, I’m sure as heck going to try to show you what it’s like. If for no other reason than to try to better understand myself and my past. 13 – 26yr old Emily would have really liked to have known that she wasn’t just a fat, worthless slob that couldn’t stop eating.
In 2013 reality, that number may actually be much higher. BED has long been misunderstood, leaving many suffering and not knowing where to turn for help. Many doctors haven’t fully understood the severity of BED until recent years.
In fact, 2013 is a ground-breaking year for BED. The 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) , due out May 2013, is finally adding BED to its list of recognized eating disorders. Right along with anorexia nervosa and bulimia.
This. Is. Huge.
From Everyday Health:
When a disorder like binge eating is added to the DSM, it means mental health professionals who treat the disorder can seek reimbursement from insurance companies. Binge eating is the most common eating disorder in the United States. It’s estimated that 3.5 percent of women and 2 percent of men have this condition. With insurance coverage more likely, many more of them may get help.
This also means more research. More awareness. More people accurately diagnosed. Less shame. Less guilt. MORE PROGRESS. :D
DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for BED
1. Recurrent episodes of binge eating characterized by BOTH of the following:
a. Eating in a discrete amount of time (within a 2 hour period), an amount that is definitely larger than most people would eat during a similar time period.
b. Sense of lack of control over eating during an episode.
2. Binge eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:
a. Eating much more rapidly than normal.
b. Eating until uncomfortably full.
c. Eating large amounts of food when not hungry.
d. Eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating.
e. Feeling disgust with oneself, depressed, or guilty after overeating.
3. Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.
4. The binge eating occurs, on average, at least 2 days a week for 6 months.
5. The binge eating is not associated with the regular use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (e.g. purging, fasting, compulsive exercising).
I know that’s a lot of information I just threw at your computer screen, but I really feel it’s important to our discussion. Now that you have a better idea of what BED is (or even possibly a better idea of what you may be suffering from) we can begin to move forward. Not just on my tiny blog, but as a society. BED is a mental illness, just like any other compulsory or obsessive behavioral disease. It’s time we started treating it like one.
I plan on doing these “in the news” posts every other week along with my Life as a Binge Eater series on Thursdays. It’s a topic I’m obviously very passionate about, and this is my small way of bringing awareness to the issue.
I’m hoping you will be a part of this with me! Any questions you have, topics you would like to see covered … I welcome them all. Comments, emails, FB message, Tweets, go ahead. :)
xo – Emily
Be strong. Be fearless. Be you.