Eating disorders is a pattern of eating that is abnormal. It can come in various forms. The DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is the latest and most widely used manual to treat any mental illness. Recently, it included Binge Eating Disorder (BED) as a recognisable mental disorder separate from other eating disorders. According to the DSM-V, "feeding and eating disorders are characterised by a persistent disturbance of eating or eating-related behaviour that results in the altered consumption or absorption of food and that significantly impairs physical health or psychosocial functioning. Diagnostic criteria are provided for pica, rumination disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder."
These eating disorders are akin to addiction because they are behaviours that release the neurotransmitter, dopamine, in the brain's reward circuitry. Usually activities that centre on survival will release dopamine. Since nobody can live without food, dopamine is present in our eating habits and behaviours. Even if those behaviours and practices are harmful, dopamine will make it difficult for eating disordered people to stop doing their disordered eating.
Eating disorders are characterised by a persistent disturbance of eating that results in altered consumption or absorption of food which significantly impairs physical health or psychosocial functioning. Anorexia Nervosa and other restrictive eating harms the body through intentional starvation. While, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorders, and other compulsive eating disorders will harm the body in an excess intake of food or a depletion of necessary nutritional intake per meal. In general, excessive food obsessions and ruminations will make food the sole preoccupation of life. Thus, eating disorders destroy relationships with others and removes one from living a wonderful life.
If you are intensely unhappy with your body size and shape - you might be bulimic. You might be committing secret eating and purging behaviours done that's accompanied by feelings of disgust or shame.
The disgust and shame induces the bulimic to binge eat. This is to eat large amounts of food to satiate these negative feelings. Emotional eating of this sort is usually accompanied by overeating comfort foods that contain no nutritional value.
Unlike the average binge eater, the bulimic will feel uneasy with binge eating. To compensate, he/she will perform recurrent inappropriate compensatory behaviours in order to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting; misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or other medications; fasting; or excessive exercise.
Have you ever faced times when you have eaten too much, especially during a special occasion or a holiday? Binge eating disorder (BED) is different. If you feel like you can't stop eating, even if you are already uncomfortably full, then you might be suffering from BED.
Eating your favourite food increases the amount of dopamine that is produced, which produces a happy feeling. This feeling will help you reach a state of forgetting all your worries and problems.
As seen in Bulimia, if you are suffering from BED, you are most likely to feel ashamed about your behaviour.
But, BED sufferers (BEDs) do not try to compensate that behaviour with purging activities. Instead, BEDs retain the food, disregarding its harmful effects on their body.
Signs of BED are as follows:
● Eating more rapidly than normal (i.e. after every 2 hours)
● Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
● Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
● Eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating
● Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty after overeating
A common physical effect of binge eating is weight gain, which can lead to obesity. You tend to become highly ashamed of how you look and of your eating habits. A number of health problems can crop up for you, some of which can be life-threatening.
● High cholesterol and high blood pressure, which can increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary heart disease and stroke
● Diabetes – a long-term condition that causes your blood sugar level to become too high
● Osteoarthritis – a condition that causes pain and swelling in the joints
● Some types of cancer – such as breast and bowel cancer
If you are trying to cope with certain underlying issues related to low self confidence and self esteem, you are highly susceptible to Anorexia Nervosa (AN). Anorexia is restricting yourself to food. It leads to significantly low body weight. However, if you are suffering from anorexia nervosa, you also display a fear of gaining weight.
Are you constantly thinking about food – how many calories, how many fat grams, and or how much exercise is needed if you eat a cookie? You are probably undergoing the following if you are suffering from this:
1) Intensely fearing gaining weight even if you're underweight
2) Sensitivity to cold
3) Having absence or irregular menstruation cycles
4) Having hair loss
If you are suffering from anorexia, you are a victim of depression. This does increase the risk of self-harm and suicidal behaviours. Alcohol and drug abuse are also
commonly found in patients suffering from anorexia.
There are only three options you’re left with if you don't stop eating this way - death, jail, or an institution. The instability of your eating disorders will make you do ridiculous things which would result in you landing up in jail. Excessive eating has a fatal effect on your physical and mental health - leading to an earlier death as a result of heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. The best option for an addict would be an institution. An institution can either be a hospital or a rehab. In this case, as a rehab, we are here to help.
Healing eating disorders is possible. It takes time, willingness, and patience. We, at Solace Sabah, recognise that. We will teach you to live, by removing the dopamine-based process that has caused you so much suffering. In this case, it would be your eating disorder. That needs to be removed before anything else can work for you. We need to teach you of other ways to derive pleasure without harming yourself. By undergoing our program, you will be exposed to correct eating practices. You will derive pleasure from other things over time, and develop a nurturing means of loving yourself and others around you.
A complete team is in place for you, waiting to help you begin your journey towards recovery through not just medical solutions, but spiritual, emotional, music, creative art, social, and natural therapies as well. We have helped many achieve freedom from their eating disorders, but, those most successful were able to trust us in this process of change. The rewards are worth it. Imagine being free from it all.
For more information on our treatment methods, visit: http://www.solacesabah.com/rehab-addiction-primary-treatment