View Full Version : Binge Eating Disorder an addiction

12-17-07, 05:47 PM
I feel that BED is more related to substance abuse than to ED, Anorexia or Bulimia.

Because of that, perhaps treatment for Binge Eating Disorder should be more like treating addictions. I don't think I've ever read a story about anyone successfully beating the disorder. EDs are really hard to overcome, but particularly this one.

I know it's about feelings, but it just seems like there's less feelings involved in BED, and more abuse/addiction behavior.

Anyone else see it more as an addiction than an eating disorder?

12-19-07, 01:37 AM
I was anorexic, so not really sure. Tell me more about this perhaps?

12-19-07, 10:20 PM
i have overcome Binge eating disorder. I used to have it but that is because I take things to the extremes, I turned to sports and to do well with sports you have to eat moderately so I stopped that.

12-19-07, 11:17 PM
I don't think I've ever read that. Wiki says (in its article on addiction):

Eating disorders ( are complicated pathological mental illnesses and thus are not the same as addictions described in this article. Eating disorders, which some argue are not addictions at all, are driven by a multitude of factors, most of which are highly different than the factors behind addictions described in this article.The artical DOES open up with:
The term is often reserved for drug addictions ( but it is sometimes applied to other compulsions, such as problem gambling (, and compulsive overeating ( compulsive overeating disorder is categorized as an addiction to food. COE is not listed as an eating disorder though. It says, "Like eating disorders..." but marks this distinction:

Binge eating disorder is similar to, but it is distinct from, compulsive overeating ( Those with BED do not have a compulsion to overeat and do not spend a great deal of time fantasizing about food. On the contrary, some people with binge eating disorder have very negative feelings about food. As with other eating disorders, binge eating is an "expressive disorder" a disorder that is an expression of deeper psychological problems. Some researchers believe BED is a milder form, or subset of bulimia nervosa, while others argue that it is its own distinct disorder. Currently, the DSM-IV categorizes it under Eating disorder not otherwise specified ( (EDNOS), an indication that more research is needed.They sound incredibly similar, why is it not an eating disorder? BED is at least considered ED-NOS. *shrug* Apperently people with COE eat so much (5,000 to 60,000 effing calories, wtf) that they get high from food by their brain chemistry being changed and it feeds the addiction and need for food. They're physicially dependant on food in a way that most people aren't basically.

And you know, everyone says all the eating disorders are just like each other but the compulsion comes out differently, but they're really not. There are some very disctinct differences, some of which involve consequences on the physical brain (and consequently the mind) due to the results OF the eating disorder (starvation and extreme overeating will change the hormones the brain releases and the brain's neaurotransmittors), and also different types of personalities are shown to get the different ones with different brain abnormalities and traumatic experiences. There are similarities, sure, but I hate when people say that they're all the same thing with different coping mechanisms.

That tangent was COMPLETELY off topic. I'm sorry.

12-20-07, 01:17 AM
re: addiction models

Addiction Medicine theorists would disagree!

They are _ALL_ problems that fit an "addiction model". (For what it's worth, even sex offending fits an addiction model.)

It is all about "tension reduction cycles" and problems with "self regulation" of the affective brain regions (via self-soothing circuits). People who cannot internally self-soothe will externally self-soothe with things like food manipulation or drugs or exercise or tobacco (effective for anxiety and anger modulation).

re: hunger
Stress alters hunger signal levels and affects NT (neurotransmitter) levels. (Look up 'stress and cortisol', or "stress and serotonin", for instance.)

There is also a set of brain chemical changes that precede and follow eating behaviours. About 10 chemicals are involved in APPETITE and about 8 are involved in SATIETY [feeling full]. GHRELIN and LEPTIN are two of those.

re: Starvation
Someone mentioned 'starvation'. Starvation also changes brain chemicals and people can get high or euphoric [or can get from dysthymia to a euthymia] by taking advantage of these brain changes caused by starvation states [manipulation of their food intake].

re: AN and BN versus other EDs
People with Anorexia and Bulimia are viewed as being QUALITIATIVELY different and 'more dangerous' than regular BEDers b/c they can almost be psychotic and often are delusional about their BODY IMAGE. e.g. In anorexia, their bones are sticking out and they still "see a fat person".

In anorexia, the thinking is really impaired and out of touch with reality (clinical state of 'psychosis").

In bulimia, there are incidents of heart stoppage (electrolytes barfed out means heart becomes irregular, right? hello death), and torn esophageal arteries (instant death almost) from the violent stress of barfing too much (some bulimics barf every few hours), etc. Mortality rates in these EDs are around 10%. At least as high as untreated depression.

I *personally* DISAGREE with creating a 'dichotomy' among EDs. I think that BED or overeating is just as dangerous, however, because obesity kills people. Hello? Hello insurance companies! Ever heard of heart attacks, diabetes, strokes, blood clots, crippled joints, bed sores, pneumonia from being bedbound, etc etc?

All those conditions SKYROCKET when they are obesity-related. Ignoring overeating disorders makes as much sense as freaking out about drugs and alcohol while ignoring smoking cigarettes -- the only product on the marketplace that will KILL YOU when USED AS INTENDED.]

re: Less Obvious Issues that can be behind EDs
I've been in a lot of therapy groups, and I have to say that almost all eating disordered people I've met have high ACE scores.

01-29-08, 10:17 PM
hey monkey girl,

i've experienced both anorexia and binge eatting and i consider both disorders, both addictions and related to bodyy image, ED stuff. it really depends on the individual case, but from personal experience the undereatting or overeatting is driven for me by the same feeling of desperation/chaos/loss/control/and addiction like urges.

once when i was in hospital with anorexia a nurse who was really overweight and had over eatting problems said to me 'we have exactly the same problem, we try to deal with it on the opposite side of the spectrim, but its the same root' and she was right.

as i said depends on the case but for me-i definately believe its both. learning to eat from underatting-or learning to not over eat from overeatting-was like going thro detox from drugs. withdrawals and all. i have a very addictive personality and have been thro a variety of addictions.

there is ALWAYS the possibilty with any case to totally recover. for me i know totally being better will also be like a reformed alchoholic, who knows they cant have 'just that one drink. i can never miss that one meal, or have that one binge-it'll always escalate into something more.i'll be better but always on my guard to make sure i dont fall back into any extreems either way, the same way i got of drugs.

if it helps for u to treat it like an addiction do-and NEVER loose the hope and sight of the underlying truth that food cannot control u if u dont let it. u wern't born with this addiction and u will not die with it. know that as a goal. tho u may not believe it know your thinking isnt correct and it is a fact!!!

you will fully recover monkey girl

you have the abilty to control your mind and get yourself out.

just do dont think

'thoughts dont determine consequences, behaviour does'

you will win!

02-28-08, 03:51 AM
I was anorexic when I was younger, and developed bulimia/compulsive overeating in my late teens. In the book "When too much isn't enough" (by Wendy Richardson), which is about the connection between different kinds of addiction and ADHD, there's a chapter about the link between eating disorders and ADHD-including anorexia. I definitely believe in these theories, because I hardly ever overeat when I take Ritalin (this also has to do with the appetite supression from the drug, of course).

Richardson focuses on the lack of dopamine in the brains of people suffering from ADHD, and how overeating, especially carbs, increases dopamine levels. She also claims that anorexia could be developed as an attempt to get some control- because people with ADHD often lack control of their lives.

03-23-10, 08:31 AM
Take it from one who knows and whose family is riddled with anorexia, bulimia and BED:
BED is just as crippling as the other two disorders mentioned because it often consists of bingeing and restricting. A person may appear "normal" in weight, but has maintained that look through the very unhealthy pattern of bingeing for days or weeks followed by starving oneself for the same amount of time. It can be just as harmful to the body.