Everyone is fascinated by food. Babies started life with food (breast milk), rewarded by food, comforted by food and living on food. Food is an indispensable part of human life, and it is necessary for survival.
It was good before it became unhealthy.
Eating is a practice for human survival. Anything that touches the brain’s reward system to release dopamine is remembered by the brain as something necessary for survival, making us want to eat, drink or do it again. Brain mechanisms work the same, even for those who take limitless pills to improve memory. Once a brain circuitry is moved, it remembers the stimuli.
Eating releases dopamine and so do other activities like drinking water and jogging.
Unfortunately, the brain does the same way with nicotine, illegal drugs, and alcohol, though they shoot dopamine levels higher than the usual, which makes people addicted to it. The brain’s activity is on a heightened alertness level, like a person taking limitless brain pill; making the neural activity speed up uncontrollably.
Researchers always thought of food addiction different from those who have a history of substance abuse and addiction.
Although food scientists reasoned food addiction doesn’t exist, the argument over binge eating being a symptom of food addiction came up. People who binge eat have a brain imaging result which is the same with those who take cocaine and illegal drugs.
They may not be showing signs of addiction similar to those who are substance abusers, but they are binge eating on a regular basis.
Overeating is a bad habit, and it is one sign of food addiction. However, it is something almost everyone finds hard to quit. Numerous studies have correlated overeating with other mental illnesses. Food addiction for one looks safe and harmless, but it is a behavioral addiction, just like any of its dangerous counterparts (internet addiction, gambling, and drug abuse).
It was just recently that the American Psychiatric Association tagged Binge Eating Disorder as a mental illness.
The Truth About Binge Eating Disorder
Binge Eating Disorder is a mental illness that displays uncontrollable eating of large amounts of food and eating even when full. In most cases, those who suffer this kind of mental illness go through other related mental illness like depression and mood and personality disorders.
So the likelihood of other underlying worse mental illness is high when someone is going through binge eating disorder because it can be an offshoot symptom of other mental illnesses.
It doesn’t happen because of celebrations.
Binge Eating disorder doesn’t occur because of holidays like Thanksgiving, the 4th of July, birthdays or anniversaries. The urge arises anytime, and anywhere a binge eater wants to.
It is utterly reasonable for people to overeat when in celebrations, however, it is no longer normal when they binge on a regular basis. Almost everyone nowadays disdains gaining weight and incorporates weight gain to a negative self-image, but no matter how heavy the guilt is, binge eaters are still going to take home an extra plate even after eating five.
People with BED can be either feel guilty or not, but they won’t do anything about it. You won’t see them puke in the bathroom or go to the gym to burn the fats away. Until they find themselves something they can be busy with, they are going to keep eating. Their eating habit can be like a starved college student, whose grades rely on the pill from Limitless.
Yes, people with BED can be mindful about their meal but keep eating anyway. It is because the need for them to eat is uncontrollable and the only way to get rid of it is to keep eating even when they are already full. This mental illness is easy to hide, and some people don’t even know they have it.
Binge Eaters aren’t usually overweight.
As mentioned, people disdain weight gain and hate seeing themselves become fat, but anyone who has BED isn’t often overweight. They can be the health buffs you even admired at the office. They can look thin and petite, but they can have BED.
Although they may become obese in the long run because of their health practices, binge eaters of this generation commonly don’t look fat or overweight. People with BED don’t usually do this with other people, and this is a secret most of them hides.
It is one way to cope up with depression.
As mentioned earlier, Binge eating disorder can be an offshoot of other underlying mental illnesses such as depression, Bulimia nervosa, and anorexia. According to research, BED is a common mental illness that may co-occur during a depression.
It may be a way of coping with or trying to numb the pain linked with depression such as hopelessness or anxiety. Research has shown that about half of individuals who struggle with binge eating also have a mood disorder such as depression.
The co-occurrence of the above-mentioned mental illness may happen because binge eating disorder shares similar risk factors, such that if a person has a high possibility of developing depression because of biological factors, there is also a high risk of developing other mental illnesses such as binge eating disorder.
Psychological and emotional characteristics also contribute to this condition. A person with low self- esteem, or who have trouble managing emotions such as anger, impulsiveness, and controlling behavior. A person intertwining feelings and emotions with eating behaviors can also be a product of childhood trauma and other traumatic experiences.
It is addictive.
As mentioned in the previous items, binge eating disorder is a sign of food addiction and at the same time can be the cause of food addiction.
Binge eating disorder usually starts with excessive food consumption with compulsive behavior that eventually leads to developing the said mental illness. It has something to do with how the brain acts after a binge eating session.
Food touches the brain rewards system and shoots up dopamine levels, like what the new limitless pill does to attention and cognitive functioning.
Too much sugar intake can be one of the culprits of binge eating disorder and studies suggest that animal models who have been bingeing on sugar have shown behaviors similar to people who have a drug addiction, opiate withdrawal signs, increased intake after abstinence and cross-sensitization.
Researchers haven’t known the underlying mechanisms yet; however, the behavioral data suggests that bingeing on sugar has changed the brain physiology of the animal models.
It is treatable.
It is important to identify the relationship between depression and BED when you are trying to treat these conditions. People with BED are growing; even college students have a clinical diagnosis of having such.
As studies suggest, mental illnesses will be a worldwide health concern by 2020; there is a need for people with BED to be treated even if it doesn’t look so dangerous. As for college students, instead of searching “is the drug from Limitless real?”, they should rather be mindful about their mental health since they usually think hormonal imbalance as the source of eating disorders.
Many therapies are administered to treat binge eating disorder and depression simultaneously, and they can be cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, medical nutrition therapy, and psychotherapy.
Binge eating disorder can happen discreetly. Those who have this type of mental illness may not be even showing signs of this ailment publicly. If you know someone who may be suffering from this malady, it is best to have him/her treated as early as possible. Binge eating can be closely related to other mental illnesses, such as depression, which can have a more severe effect on their lifestyle.
Christine Taylor is a health enthusiast, a writer and a blogger by heart. As a matter of fact, she researches anything related to fitness like yoga, healthy recipes, limitless pills, and even known personalities who live a healthy lifestyle. Since she’s a writer by heart, she sees to it that her readers shall read everything that she learns in her research.