Binge-Eating and other monsters

Hello everybody!

I guess this is my first blog entry for this community.

I’m more of the “standing in the background and cheering for others” kinda person and I rearly leave comments under YouTube videos.
But I noticed that there were no entries about the topic of eating disorders and how they can be precived as an addiction.
As a way to create dopamine for your brain, so you can feel happy for like 30 minutes and hate yourself afterwards.

I know that there are more than just a few eating disorders, all of them equally life-destroying and toxic for your mental health.

I want to focus on binge-eating though, not only because I suffer from it (and try to live with it) but it is rearly talked about in and on itself.
When you think about eating disorders your mind directly wanders to anorexia and bulimia, and even if they are horrible disorders, I think binge-eating should be more present in peoples minds.

So I am 19 years old, turning 20 on the first of January.
I know. I feel very special each year on New Years.
It’s awesome.

And I weigh about 297 lb/ 135 kg.

I was always the fat child, getting fed with McDonalds and never being allowed to leave the house as a girl in a strict muslim household.
I never could explore sport clubs for kids in my neigbourhood or could just play outside with friends so I packed on the pounds.
My abusive father made my life a living hell and sooner rather than later I found comfort and consolation in food.
My doctors were really racist and fatphobic, saying stuff like
“Well it’s not that bad being that fat is it? At least you have a big nice ass”
Mind you that I was 14 when this was told to me by a 76 year old male doctor.

“Isn’t your mom turkish? You folk love to eat isn’t that right? Just tell her to cook less and you will be fine.”

Just a couple of weeks ago I found out that my thyroid wasn’t functioning properly, and that it probably also was affecting my weight, mood and hormones.

I guess better now than never.

Back to the binge-eating though, I decided to treat my eating disorder like a form of addiction.
Not a bad habit, that I could just stop whenever, but a hard fight between me and my brain.
What I should also mention is that I am planning for a Weight Loss Surgery right now, and that my unhealthy weight is being cared for.
The work before and after that though, I have to do.
I can’t just ignore my disorder and think that a smaller stomach will solve all my problems.
If I don’t start working on this eating disorder, I will potentially hurt myself in worse ways later on.

I am on my 3rd day as of now and think that keeping track of the ‘clean days’ is a great way to motivate myself.

This is it for now.

I would love to read your opinion on the topic of treating your eating disorder as an addiction.
Do you think that is an approach that makes sense?
Do you have any experience with disordered eating?

Thank you for reading through this mess and sorry for any grammar mistakes (my main language is german).

Love you all,
Luna

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I think this is a key point and you are very brave to tackle this issue as an actual addiction and not just a bad habit. I don’t personally have the same issue as you but now that I’ve quit drinking I’m definitely overeating to compensate. I need to tackle it as well. I justify eating things I shouldn’t and when I’m not hungry because “at least I’m not drinking”. But my family as a history of Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure etc. I need to take care of myself. Eating properly is part of that. Best of luck to you and your English is awesome!

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Hello Luna :blue_heart:
First and foremost, I want to thank you for reaching out - it’s a brave step, and I’m happy you are here.
And it is strange, isn’t it? - that many people focus on the starvation side of these disorders, even though binge-eating is certainly more common.
Even more, finding professionals and specialists within the eating disorder field is incredibly far and few between because it is a devastating work environment to stay in.

I talked with a specialist that was only in the field for 5 years who said she had already witnessed 9 patient deaths and claimed it’s the most difficult and heart-breaking position she has ever practiced…so many people that were once passionate decide to switch careers because of the emotional cost.
Binge-eating, anorexia and bulimia do share some things in common, however, as it is certainly an injury of the mind.

People that fall into these places usually have a history of not having control of their bodies, well-being, environment…and in order to cope, food becomes the object of control. It becomes a way to self-soothe or disassociate from the stress or trauma. It becomes something to hide (throwing away food/vomiting food/sneaking food). It becomes something to have or obsess over with little to no recognition or cause of alarm from others.
It can cause anxiety when someone is either forced to eat or is unable to eat. It can cause personalization of things around us (example - those people whispered after I walked by, they are probably saying that I am fat) or selective abstraction (ex: I am worthy if I am thin) or silencing the self (ex: inhibition of self-expression to preserve relationships) or a division of oneself (ex: outwardly compliant but internally angry). Substance abuse can also develop in order to resolve that anxiety (epicac, diuretics, laxatives, food itself). I would say that eating disorders share quite similar themes that are seen within these forums.
You are in the right place!

Cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal relationship therapy are both great tools to work within yourself - because you are absolutely right - the weight is not the source; It is a symptom.
I had eating disorders between the ages of 13 - 20, and can attest that CB therapy was an immense help. The care and support from my adoptive family was also a God Send - which is again what this forum is about :slightly_smiling_face: care and support! :relaxed:

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Addiction is addiction no matter what it is you think you desire but like most others it’s to cover up a more serious problem, we do what we do for comfort to start with then without noticing we do it out of routine and eventually survival because we think we can’t live any other way. Get to the core of why you do what you do and work from there. I feel really sorry for people with food addiction becsuse I know I can never have another drink or joint or cigarette so that’s what I work with but you still need to eat. There is no way I could moderate my drinking. Stay on here and keep talking, treat it like your therapy because if you have an abusive father then going to counciling is probably not going to be an option that sits well with him. Use us. Plan a weekly menu, Google weight watchers ideas, I am currently helping a women lose weight, when she came to me she was only eating rice and boiled chicken and very miserable but some food you can eat as much as you want with weight watchers and they allow you 15 points of sins in a day so you can still have some of your favourites without over doing it. Start doing excercise, very gently at first like walking up and down stairs. There is no such thing as a diet you have to burn more calories than you put in. I could have 3 cream cakes everyday for breakfast but if I burn them off by walking or swimming it would not matter. ( I don’t recommend cake for breakfast BTW) Porridge and banana will be fine. I wish you success on your journey. Be strong.

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Also - I am currently working on my Master’s for dietetics to become an RD, and I have been working with multiple patients (including a bariatric surgery patient) on their diet - I cannot replace the RD you’re meeting, but if you’d like to ever talk with me for support, I would love to offer you any support that I can.

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Dear Dolse,

Your reply hit right in my heart. Thank you for caring so much and giving wonderful advice!

I no longer live at home, using the strong social system here in germany and currently living in a home for young adults that ran away from home.
I also go to therapy since 2017 and build myself a strong support system with professionals who are passionate about helping me.

The love and support I experienced in your replies today was really needed and it shows me how many great people there are out there in the world, who are genuinley nice and understanding.

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Dear Heather,

I would be HONOURED to be given advice from a professional like you on this topic!
Thank you for your heartfelt response and for the genuine interest in my problem!

You guys made me tear up today and I thank you for that.

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Thank you so much for being so nice.

My family also has a history of Type 2 Diabetes and I am obviously scared to fall into that hole at such a young age.

It’s funny how there are so many similarities between different addictive behaviours isn’t it?
Because most times my train of thought right before a binge-attack is:
“Well I am binging right now but at least I’m not having a meltdown or panik attack”
Trust me at this point I would prefer a mental breakdown.

I wish you so much luck at taking care of yourself and your health! Stay strong and know that you have the strenght to tackle your problems!

Love, Luna

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seems we have that in common. I ran away 11 times and finally ended up in the care system but by the age of 16 the help ended and I had to live on the streets. I want you to know never give up hope, it always gets better. I have a home a girlfriend a job and am sober and clean. This is not by total luck. You reap what you sow my friend and it sounds like you are starting to put down the foundations of a happy future. God bless you and as always, Be strong.

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