Yes, Binge Eating Is An Eating Disorder. I Know Because I Have It
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Health and Wellness

Yes, Binge Eating Is An Eating Disorder. I Know Because I Have It

Thank you, National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, for letting me share my story.

Yes, Binge Eating Is An Eating Disorder. I Know Because I Have It
Freestocks / Unsplash

I almost didn't post this piece this week (during National Eating Disorder Awareness week) due to being too weary to share my story. A lot of people in my life know about my eating disorder, but I think I have only gone into detail about it with my therapist. After thinking about it, I decided how important it really is to share this.

A lot of people only know of two eating disorders: anorexia and bulimia. The former is when one starves themselves; the latter when one binges and purges. Not as many people know of binge eating disorder, which is when one binges but does not purge.

That is what I have.

Binge eating disorder is not just emotionally eating or eating when bored. It's eating high hundreds or even thousands of calories in one sitting, sometimes even when you're not hungry, and you are unable to stop. It's uncontrollable, even though you know you need to stop eating and you're upset with yourself for eating too much. It's restricting at most other times of the day in order to "make up for" the binge, but it's not making yourself throw up.

This disorder is something that I remember dealing with since I was a child, but never knew there was such a name for it. When I first began talking to my therapist about my disordered eating (which, while I never said that I had an eating disorder, I knew my eating was always disordered, if that makes sense), she mentioned this. I remember saying, "But I don't make myself throw up, so it's not an eating disorder." My therapist then showed me a lot of information and statistics on binge eating disorder, and from there, we began learning about mindful eating and other ways to control myself. Essentially, I was relearning how to eat.

Since I was diagnosed with it over a year ago, I also lost a lot of weight. Being able to control my eating and working out really did the trick for me. I felt confident and thought I was okay. I thought that I'd kicked my eating disorder in the ass and would never deal with it again.

Then, my brother died, and I learned that just like anything else, you can relapse with eating disorders. I gained some weight back, and am still struggling with how to control my eating. It's a struggle every single day, just like any other eating disorder, mental illness or addiction.

The first step with an eating disorder is to accept and acknowledge it. The next is to gain support from friends and family. Then, at least my own personal next step, is to raise awareness. I consider myself very aware of all mental illnesses, and even though I had taken three college-level psychology classes, I had never heard of binge eating disorder. Even on NEDA's website, there is not a lot of information or statistics on it even though it is more common than anorexia or bulimia, or even breast cancer. So, please, help raise awareness for all eating disorders, mental illnesses, and addictions, and not just during their respective awareness weeks.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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