Kids create drama. Being responsible for kids makes even more drama. Sometimes, a major food binge just feels good – at least for the moment. That is especially true if you have a panful of a tasty treat like homemade Snickers. The problem is that binge-eating can get out of hand and set the wrong kind of example for your kids. And while an occasional dessert is no big deal, binge eating disorder can make your own life pretty miserable. Here’s how to recognize this disorder and what you can do about it.
How to Recognize Binge Eating Disorder
The fastest way to tell if bingeing is becoming a significant problem for you is to take a binge eating disorder test. You can take the test online in a few minutes, answer some simple questions based on your own experiences, and get the results immediately.
The short quiz includes questions about common symptoms of binge eating disorder. For example, you might have binge eating disorder if you:
- Eat extremely large amounts of food in a short period of time.
- Feel like your eating is beyond your control.
- Keep eating after you feel full.
- Eat rapidly when you’re bingeing.
- Eat so much, so fast that you feel physically uncomfortable.
- Binge secretly.
- Feel disgusted with yourself, ashamed, depressed, or upset about your eating.
- Always seem to be trying to diet, even if you can’t manage to lose any weight.
What’s Wrong with a Little Bingeing?
Binge eating seems like a cute problem to have. So many movies and TV shows depict people bingeing on food after a breakup or really anytime things don’t go their way. How many times have you seen a character sit on the sofa eating ice cream directly out of the container? It is the standard stuff of comedy.
But binge eating disorder can impact your life, your physical and mental health, and your child’s life, too. Just what you needed, right? Another thing to feel guilty about. Maybe not. Beating yourself up about binge eating does not help. In fact, tearing yourself down because of your bingeing can be even more damaging than eating so much. When you turn to food to meet all your emotional needs, the best answer is treatment, not self-punishment.
What Is Treatment for BED Like?
Treatment for binge eating disorder consists of psychotherapy and possibly medication. There are some medications that might reduce your symptoms. Because most medications have side effects, doctors usually recommend using them for only a short-term help. But psychotherapy offers a more long-lasting solution. With psychotherapy, you can change the way you think about food and learn to manage your emotions more effectively. Some of the types of therapy that can help with binge eating disorder include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – A psychological technique that helps you assess the negative, unrealistic, or unhelpful thoughts behind your feelings and behaviors. If you determine you need to change your thinking, this tool provides a way to replace those thoughts with more helpful ones.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy – A type of therapy that consists of two parts – skills practice (usually taught in group sessions) and individual therapy. In the skills training, you can learn techniques to manage your stress and deal with your emotions. During therapy, you can get to the root of why you binge eat and work on plans to overcome it.
- Interpersonal Therapy – A form of therapy dedicated to helping you deal with your relationships, including relationships with romantic partners, friends, family, coworkers, or even your kids. With improved interpersonal skills, you may not be triggered to binge eat.
Now, back to that homemade Snickers. You might be wondering if conquering your binge eating disorder will mean an end to all tasty treats. Not at all! When you learn to manage your feelings in other ways, reduce your stress, and develop a healthier mindset, you can still indulge in a tasty treat from time to time. The difference is that instead of eating the whole batch, you will feel satisfied with eating one, sharing them with your children, and freezing the rest for another day!