Illustrated by Austin Watts.
It happens to the best of us — a bad day at work necessitates a stop at the supermarket for a favorite pint of Ben & Jerry’s. While there's nothing inherently wrong with a little comfort food every now and then, if you find that you can’t stop yourself once you start (to the point where you eat a whole cake or a party-sized bag of chips), you might be one of potentially millions of people who have binge eating disorder.
According to the Daily Mail, psychiatric organizations have started to recognize binge eating as a mental disorder, classifying it, along with anorexia and bulimia, as an eating disorder. Similar to bulimia, binge eating disorder is characterized by compulsive eating, only in this case, there's no purge. It is often accompanied by depression, and the bingeing is usually done in secret. People with the disorder often choose to eat food that is high in fat and sugar, since it gives you a high (albeit a fleeting one).
In a telling, emotional profile, the Daily Mail interviewed several people personally affected by binge eating. Their stories offer a window into this difficult and complicated disorder.
In the past, binge eating has been treated with dieting or antidepressants, neither of which touch the heart of the problem. Binge eaters can often diet and lose weight for a few months, but the problem of bingeing returns sooner or later. Antidepressants can help manage a binge eater’s depression, but this treatment doesn't address the source of the issue or offer a long-term solution. So, what are the benefits of classifying the issue as a psychiatric disorder? With more careful study of how our brains respond to the food we we eat (and why we eat it), more specific, successful treatments could be on the horizon. Click through to read the moving stories of several men and women affected by this disease. ( Daily Mail )