Living with an eating disorder can be confusing to those who are experiencing them and to people who love a person with an eating disorder. That’s why it’s so important that awareness is spread about these disorders in order for women who are dealing with them to understand the truth about what they’re like and available treatment that is helpful. One of the eating disorders that is most stigmatized and there is a lot of misinformation spread about is binge eating disorders. Certainly, the myths that surround what causes binge eating disorder, its symptoms, and treatment can all keep people living with this specific eating disorder to get the available help they need to move forward with life. So, in this article, we address some of the many stigmas and myths surrounding binge eating disorder.
What is Binge Eating Disorder?
Binge eating disorder (BED) is a specific type of eating disorder that is characterized by eating large amounts of food in small periods of time. For people living with BED, binge eating episodes can happen frequently. And, can come with a host of different symptoms such as negative feelings of shame and guilt as well as physical health concerns like high blood pressure.
What Causes Binge Eating Disorder?
Some of the myths that surround binge eating disorder revolve around the causes of this condition. Many people think that eating disorders are developed as a result of wanting to be ‘skinny’. However, this isn’t the case at all. Eating disorders, even BED, develop as the result of an individual attempting to maintain control. This can include control over unwanted emotions, things going wrong in their lives, and how they feel about themselves. For many people with binge eating disorder, binge eating episodes are a coping mechanism used in order to deal with unwanted thoughts and feelings and are in no way an attempt to appease social beauty standards.
Myth: Eating Disorder Recovery Means that Eating Disorders are Over
Many people believe that after a person has gone through initial eating disorder treatment or gotten therapeutic help for eating disorders that they are cured. However, unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for eating disorders. Once eating disorder treatment is over, a person is then in a stage called ‘recovery’. This doesn’t mean that refraining from disordered eating behaviors is something that just comes either. Nor, does it mean that a person diagnosed with BED will never feel the need to binge eat ever again. Obtaining help through treatment and therapy provides tools for a person diagnosed with an eating disorder to use in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle free from disordered eating behaviors. It does not mean that they no longer struggle with an eating disorder.
Myth: People With BED Are Always Fat
It’s easy to assume that people who have BED are overweight or even fat. But, that’s just not the case for many people who struggle with binge eating disorder. Eating disorders do not discriminate based on a person’s body size or weight. They can affect any person regardless of how society views their body or how their body fits inside specific social body standards.
Myth: BED is Rare
BED may not be highlighted in the media as much as other eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia. However, it’s actually more common than both. People aren’t aware of this mainly due to the stigmas associated with this eating disorder and how little it is talked about. But, this doesn’t make people who are living with this disorder less deserving of getting the help they need to sustain lasting recovery and healing.
Help for Women Living With Binge Eating Disorder
If you want to break free from the stigmas associated with binge eating disorder, help is available to you. Willow Place for Women is a women’s-only outpatient eating disorder treatment center located in Asheville, NC. We help women living with BED and other eating disorders by providing treatment and a community of support so that symptoms of eating disorders can be overcome in the long term.