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To think that eating disorders that make you gain weight are not taking seriously?

17 replies

BingeEater · 28/03/2021 16:57

Hear me out please, I got diagnosed with binge eating disorder 3 years ago, I went through 6 weeks of therapy and then I was left to my own devices.

I've had people gasp at my weight gain, I've had people sit me down and ask directly how I could allow myself to get to this point. This is all through family members.

We have other eating disorders in the family and mine is looked down upon because my family find it embarrassing how much weight I am piling on, I've never been this big and yes it is out of control but it saddens me that the judgement is towards me and not empathy with having to overcome an eating disorder much like the same as the others in the family.

I'm not saying they should tip toe around me as I understand that the health implications could be catastrophic, however a 'it's shit isn't it?' Or a 'how are you coping?' Would be nice.

Just wanted to get this off my chest really, is it that we don't recognise binge eating as an addiction? I'm not sure but would love to hear your views.

OP posts:

flossisboss · 28/03/2021 18:01


I have thought this for a long time. I do not suffer from an eating disorder myself, but have people in my life who do, and I've seen how it manifests in totally different ways from person to person. Unfortunately people often don't see that overeating can be just as much of an illness as the more commonly understood undereating disorders. I suspect it stems from society's bias towards the slender.

I'm afraid I don't know what the answer is, other than more awareness and education. I really sympathise though, and hope that you are coping OK. Everyone deserves support. Flowers


EvilOnion · 28/03/2021 18:09


I also have BED with bulimic episodes.

We don't tell people with anorexia to just eat more or tell addicts to just do something else to keep busy.

Fat makes you fair game in society.


Love51 · 28/03/2021 18:09

Most people are more scared of overeating than undereating. Undereating is considered a good thing (eg reported in the press that Beyoncé wasn't eating solid food, only drinking, as if it was something to emulate). Undereating is associated with having discipline. Overeating doesn't have any positive connotations (in our society, I know it has in the past). It is rubbish but people fear becoming fat in a way they don't fear becoming thin, so look down on those who don't control their eating.


Jenala · 28/03/2021 18:20

I agree and have long thought the same. I used to have binge eating disorder and it's a terrible thing to compulsively overeat. It's not greed or lack of control. Continuing to stuff large volumes of food down even when you're no longer hungry and then feeling intolerably awful both physically and psychologically afterwards isnt just eating a bit more than you should, and is out of range of normal behaviour. It's absolutely disordered eating.

I think it's because everyone overeats from time to time, at a restaurant or at Christmas etc. So they understand to an extent the urge to eat beyond being full/not exercise self control in the face of brownies. I think this means they then look down on people who binge as though we are continually giving into those urges rather than being selective (as in only sometimes overeating) like they can. Whereas less people are able skip multiple meals or willingly have really low calories day after day, so that behaviour feels probably a bit more scary and uncomfortable, they can't understand why anyone would willingly be starving hungry. They think binge eaters are just giving into the base urges to gorge rather than undertaking a compulsive behaviour that brings them misery.

If people knew the destructiveness of binge eating they'd probably get it more.


DeadCertain · 28/03/2021 18:31

We don't tell people with anorexia to just eat more - a lot of people do.

I agree that EDs that make you gain weight are very much misunderstood. I have an ED that does have a huge element of binging and know how awful, out of control and hopeless it can feel. Physically and psychologically the pain can be intolerable. I am thin at present but my weight can vary enormously depending upon whether the binge element is the dominant behaviour at the time - some years it has been. When I gain a lot of weight people can be really disapproving, when I start to lose very approving and then when I become too thin quite cruel again (although also can ask for tips and admire my "self control"). All elements can be distressing but I definitely think I am most judged when I gain weight for being greedy and out of control (especially as I can maintain being really slim for long periods of time too, so I think it is seen as me just "letting myself go"). The pp who said people fear becoming fat far more than becoming thin are bang on.


Nuitsdesetoiles · 28/03/2021 18:36

YANBU but as someone who's worked with eating disorders for quite a few years now I can assure you that finally things are changing and binge eating disorder is beginning to be in taken more seriously and more treatments developed. I push all the time for this to be seen as valid as anorexia. I've seen the havoc it can wreak both personally and professionally.


Habbyhadno · 28/03/2021 18:41

Yes, I've asked for help with a binge eating disorder for about a year now and my doctors have completely fobbed me off with 'just eat less' and 'maybe when the weather is warmer you can eat lighter food, like salads'. I've got fed up of asking them now, it's getting to the point where it's humiliating. I'm not quite sure how to get help with it when I'm fobbed off constantly at the GPs.
Also the comments from family members of 'now, don't you go getting any bigger' isn't helpful either.


Stichintime · 28/03/2021 18:43

I think because it is something you're doing, rather then not doing. Not eating = self control. Over eating= no self control.


mynameiscalypso · 28/03/2021 18:47

I do agree but I also think it's hard when there are such limited resources and anorexia/bulimia have the highest mortality rates of any mental illness.


Jenala · 28/03/2021 18:50

I wonder how many people dying of obesity related illnesses have struggled with some kind of eating disorder.


FatCatThinCat · 28/03/2021 18:56

I have binge eating disorder and used to attend an eating disorders clinic. I went to see my as I needed to up the dose of my medicine (as advised by the ED clinic). He told me that I didn't have an eating disorder, I was just greedy, and he wasn't wasting any more of his budget on me and wouldn't even renew my existing prescription. The time after that appointment was the closest I ever came to suicide.


FatCatThinCat · 28/03/2021 18:57

  • to see my GP

Viviennemary · 28/03/2021 19:01

I don't think you were ignored. You had the therapy. There just isn't the money for unlimited therapy. And so many people have a weight problem these days. It's probably difficult to treat because people can go cold turkey on drink and smoking but can't on food.


whatisforteamum · 28/03/2021 19:26

I do agree with this.I had anorexia twice and got so thin people do tell you to just eat.
My dh and dm are the other way and comfort eat and alll of this lockdown I've helped him exercise and shift some weight.i do feel it is something that needs therapy though.He had a heart attack and still continued to eat fry ups burgers and doughnuts.


georgarina · 28/03/2021 19:30

YANBU because they are not.

BUT I will say, people with restrictive ED's are also treated with a lack of understanding. 'Just eat more' is a very common thing that uninformed people say to people with anorexia.

Maybe ED's like BED are more trivialized because people can understand wanting to eat more rather than wanting to eat less, so they think it's just a lack of the self-control we all have to exercise, rather than a serious disorder.

But across the spectrum there is a major lack of understanding when it comes to ED's.


Bubblemonkey · 28/03/2021 20:29

Not just binge eating. If you’re not stick thin, it’s basically brushed off. I’ve not eaten in over 48hrs, back on laxatives & diuretics but alas, ED team won’t entertain me because I’m overweight.


linerforlife · 28/03/2021 20:38

I also have BED, and have had no support from medics at all, not even offered therapy. I am currently reading Brain over Binge and finding it really helpful, and listening to the podcasts.

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