Binge Eating Disorder
(Compulsive Overeating)

Maintaining a healthy relationship with our body image and with food is basic to our well-being.
Our goal will be to recover the respect, love and compassion you deserve for yourself.

“ And like the moon, we must go through phases of emptiness in order to feel full again ”

What is it about ?

Binge eating disorder, food addiction, compulsive overeating, acute gluttony, bottomless pit… this problem is called by many names but few know how hard it can for those who suffer it.
Less known than anorexia and bulimia, this is the most common type of eating disorder (over 2% of the world population, especially young women).
It consists on repeated episodes of uncontrolled binge eating, followed by significant internal discomfort, feelings of shame and guilt, and high levels of stress. There are usually no purges, laxatives, or excessive physical exercise to make up for excess food.
This is not a matter of repeating dessert or eating too much at Christmas dinner, we are talking about repetitive episodes of bingeing that last over time and make us feel really bad.

The problem arises when we continue eating even when when we feel pain in the stomach, even when we’re physiologically satisfied, even when we already feel the shame, the guilt…. since food temporarily calms unpleasant feelings, though only to feel them more strongly later.

It can also be a mechanism for “not feeling” other things: as in self-injuries, here we also inflict suffering on ourselves, but this suffering may help us not to feel something else that hurts us even more.

Binge eating often starts in response to specific situations that stress us out (for example, before an exam or when we have had an emotional breakdown) but gradually becomes a regular practice that occurs without the need to be especially stressed or sad about something.

Another element often related to binge eating is negative body image: it often drives us to diet and control our food intake, which causes lots of stress and discomfort from which we flee momentarily with binge eating.
In some ways, binge eating starts as a symptom caused by another “trauma” (or difficult/stressful event), and gradually becomes a trauma in itself.

The explanations can be many and each patient deals with it differently.

When to consult ?

Binge Eating Disorder is characterized by:

  • Eating large amounts of food (above physiological hunger levels).
  • Eating even when full or not hungry.
  • Eating much faster than what is considered “normal”.
  • Eating until uncomfortably full, unable to control or stop the intake.
  • Eating alone out of shame of being seen while eating.
  • Eating normally when you are with others and binge eating right after.
  • Eating without ever feeling satisfied.
  • Trying to control the food intake with strict diets and rules that only exacerbate binging.
  • Feeling guilt, shame and/or disgust towards oneself after eating.
  • Feeling numb while eating, as in “autopilot” mode.
  • Feeling that you lose control when eating.
Often control attempts only make it worse. We don’t know how we got to this point, nor do we know how to get out of this vicious circle.
Binge eating causes very unpleasant sensations in the body, which makes it difficult to control behavior and makes us more likely to try strategies to “stop feeling”.

When we feel bad, we turn to the food to momentarily appease these unpleasant sensations, and thus the circle is perpetuated.

At a social level it can cause isolation, rejection and difficulties in general, within the couple, family, social circle and even at work. Failing to maintain a healthy and “normal” relationship with food, complicates all contexts in which food is present.

At a physical level it can lead to obesity (as well as all the medical complications related to it), type II diabetes, respiratory problems linked to the attempt at abdominal control (when we enter the belly we can only breathe through the chest and not with the diaphragm) and substance abuse, among others.

What to expect from therapy ?

  • Binge eating episodes are eliminated or at least reduced.

  • You increase your ability to self-regulate (calm down)

  • You re-establish a healthy and “normal” relationship with food

  • You regain a healthy image of your body, learning to love yourself as you are and achieve your ideal-healthy weight

  • You get a greater awareness of your body and its real needs

  • You learn to recognize and differentiate physiological hunger from emotional hunger

  • You learn to control your impulses, detecting the early signals of activation

  • You improve your capacity for empathy, respect and compassion, for others and for yourself.

  • You practice self-acceptance and self-compassion, without falling into resignation.
  • You learn healthy eating habits
  • You increase your « window of tolerance » to feel both unpleasant and pleasant sensations

  • You calm anxiety and depressive symptoms, recognizing and accepting the naturally occurring emotions.

  • You increase your self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence.

  • You build up resilience to cope with stress, challenges and intense emotions

  • In the event of a binge, you reduce subsequent negative feelings and emotions, making it easier not to fall back into the vicious circle.

You don’t need to continue this fight alone or resign yourself to this situation.
You don't need to continue suffering in silence.

Take back control over your life. Changing in possible and it starts with the first step.
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