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Binge Eating disorder and gastric band

S

susu469

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Oct 16, 2020
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4
Location
London
Hi all. I don't really know where to begin with this. But I am currently 25 years old and have finally thought to myself that rather than being lazy and undisciplined, I may actually have an eating disorder.

I guess I will start with my teenage years. As a teenager, I used to overeat massively to the point where, by the age of 18, I was nearing 100kg. This is way too much for somebody that is 5'2. If I were to describe the binge eating, it would usually be solitary and followed by crying and some form of self-harm. I won't go into detail about that. I had a friend at that time that was diagnosed with anorexia and we would often talk about things. I broached the topic and told her I think I have a problem with eating; once I broke it down for her she suggested that I just lacked self-control. Now that I am older, I understand her train of thought given her own issues. I was also in therapy at the time and my therapist recommended I spoke with my GP about it, which I did. I was referred to a dietician who did the usual spiel about portion control and exercise etc. This was, of course, of no help.

Fast forward to when I turn 18, my family decided it was time to do something about my weight so I had a gastric band operation. Since then I have lost considerable weight, now weighing 67kg. I constantly get compliments from people in my life about how much better I look etc. The only issue is, this makes me so angry because nothing has changed. I still loathe myself and spend so much of my time thinking about how big and undesirable I am. The bingeing also has not stopped. Of course, the band has restricted how much food I can actually take in, but I still have my 'sessions' in which I eat until I am uncomfortably full. The only difference now is that I will automatically throw up because of the band. I've also developed a few techniques that speed up this process with the band, as strange as this sounds. Once I have thrown up, I will just continue eating then throw up again until the food is finished. I have also noticed that these sessions will always contain very specific foods like a ritual. It's usually KFC, two pieces of chicken, four hot wings, the supercharger sauce, a can of pepsi, then from dominoes their cookies and a tub of ben and jerrys chocolate fudge brownie. It will always be this combination. Well I do actually have a few set go to combinations but that is the primary one. I will always eat in the same order, and in the same way, which has led me to believe its like a ceremony. Then afterwards I will cry and hate myself. I don't engage in the more typical forms of self harm anymore (although I guess this could be considered self harm) however I will spend a good while afterwards fighting the urge to do so.

It has been pretty hard even entertaining the thought that I may have an eating disorder because all my life I have been told it is about exercise and discipline. But after having the operation I have become sure that it is a sign of something else. The impact it has had on my life and health - my inability to eat with others, the damage to my throat, my up and down weight and the emotional toll - has forced me to reckon with the fact that this is a problem. It is difficult to talk to others about this because people usually think anorexia or bulimia when you talk about eating disorders, and I am no longer as worryingly obese as I was before for one to be concerned about binge eating.

I guess I just wanted to see if anybody has had a similar experience or would have some advice. In all honesty, I have a very bad relationship with my GP and, as of now, do not want to broach the subject with them; there are way too many things for me to sort out. I do currently have a therapist that I am trying to work on general emotional issues with to see if that will alleviate anything, but only time will tell how that goes.

All the best,

Susu
 
S

susu469

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Joined
Oct 16, 2020
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4
Location
London
Also, having had a look at some other threads, I would really appreciate if people did not come onto this threat with food tips and whatnot. That is not what I am here for. Thanks.
 
B

bpd2020

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Hello susu. Welcome to the forum. I am sad to read how you have not been given support. To have bariatric surgery without the counselling was very badly handled. It is very frustrating to hear the things we are told. You are lazy, you need will power etc. Binge eating is widely misunderstood and I am really sorry yours has not been treated. I think the best way forward would be to have therapy at an eating disorder clinic. That is what I did and it was a huge help. You would need to go to your GP and request to be sent to one. Please do not despair. There is help and support out there for binge eating disorder. You may also find this website to be helpful.

I have just read you do not want to tell your GP. I apologise for suggesting it.
 
S

susu469

New member
Joined
Oct 16, 2020
Messages
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Location
London
Hello susu. Welcome to the forum. I am sad to read how you have not been given support. To have bariatric surgery without the counselling was very badly handled. It is very frustrating to hear the things we are told. You are lazy, you need will power etc. Binge eating is widely misunderstood and I am really sorry yours has not been treated. I think the best way forward would be to have therapy at an eating disorder clinic. That is what I did and it was a huge help. You would need to go to your GP and request to be sent to one. Please do not despair. There is help and support out there for binge eating disorder. You may also find this website to be helpful.

I have just read you do not want to tell your GP. I apologise for suggesting it.
No not at all! If that is the best thing to do then I will do it. I think I will change GPs first as my current one is terrible with these things as, as I mentioned before, he simply thought I needed to speak to somebody about portion control to deal with my weight. I guess the surgery is indicative of mine and everybody else's attitudes to things.
 
A

Am33

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I understand obesity and gluttony as a emotional issue subconsciously I believe we are trying to insulate ourselves from the world as a sort of protection by being obese . Therapy should help you .
 
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bpd2020

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No not at all! If that is the best thing to do then I will do it. I think I will change GPs first as my current one is terrible with these things as, as I mentioned before, he simply thought I needed to speak to somebody about portion control to deal with my weight. I guess the surgery is indicative of mine and everybody else's attitudes to things.
Phew. I was worried when I realised you said you did not want to speak to your GP and I had suggested it. It does sound like you should change your GP. It is frustrating how some people are unable to understand binge eating disorder.
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
2,196
I'm no Mental Health Professional etc. but from reading other people's stories could the issue be the association between eating and the benefits you feel from eating in the moment? As with many things breaking the assosiation and replacing it with something else might be a way forward, together with addressing any underlying causes for those needs... Hope this helps :)
 
Q

queerghost

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 14, 2020
Messages
67
Location
Italy
Hi all. I don't really know where to begin with this. But I am currently 25 years old and have finally thought to myself that rather than being lazy and undisciplined, I may actually have an eating disorder.

I guess I will start with my teenage years. As a teenager, I used to overeat massively to the point where, by the age of 18, I was nearing 100kg. This is way too much for somebody that is 5'2. If I were to describe the binge eating, it would usually be solitary and followed by crying and some form of self-harm. I won't go into detail about that. I had a friend at that time that was diagnosed with anorexia and we would often talk about things. I broached the topic and told her I think I have a problem with eating; once I broke it down for her she suggested that I just lacked self-control. Now that I am older, I understand her train of thought given her own issues. I was also in therapy at the time and my therapist recommended I spoke with my GP about it, which I did. I was referred to a dietician who did the usual spiel about portion control and exercise etc. This was, of course, of no help.

Fast forward to when I turn 18, my family decided it was time to do something about my weight so I had a gastric band operation. Since then I have lost considerable weight, now weighing 67kg. I constantly get compliments from people in my life about how much better I look etc. The only issue is, this makes me so angry because nothing has changed. I still loathe myself and spend so much of my time thinking about how big and undesirable I am. The bingeing also has not stopped. Of course, the band has restricted how much food I can actually take in, but I still have my 'sessions' in which I eat until I am uncomfortably full. The only difference now is that I will automatically throw up because of the band. I've also developed a few techniques that speed up this process with the band, as strange as this sounds. Once I have thrown up, I will just continue eating then throw up again until the food is finished. I have also noticed that these sessions will always contain very specific foods like a ritual. It's usually KFC, two pieces of chicken, four hot wings, the supercharger sauce, a can of pepsi, then from dominoes their cookies and a tub of ben and jerrys chocolate fudge brownie. It will always be this combination. Well I do actually have a few set go to combinations but that is the primary one. I will always eat in the same order, and in the same way, which has led me to believe its like a ceremony. Then afterwards I will cry and hate myself. I don't engage in the more typical forms of self harm anymore (although I guess this could be considered self harm) however I will spend a good while afterwards fighting the urge to do so.

It has been pretty hard even entertaining the thought that I may have an eating disorder because all my life I have been told it is about exercise and discipline. But after having the operation I have become sure that it is a sign of something else. The impact it has had on my life and health - my inability to eat with others, the damage to my throat, my up and down weight and the emotional toll - has forced me to reckon with the fact that this is a problem. It is difficult to talk to others about this because people usually think anorexia or bulimia when you talk about eating disorders, and I am no longer as worryingly obese as I was before for one to be concerned about binge eating.

I guess I just wanted to see if anybody has had a similar experience or would have some advice. In all honesty, I have a very bad relationship with my GP and, as of now, do not want to broach the subject with them; there are way too many things for me to sort out. I do currently have a therapist that I am trying to work on general emotional issues with to see if that will alleviate anything, but only time will tell how that goes.

All the best,

Susu
Hi susu469 I’m very sorry to hear that you have been struggling with this but I completely understand what you are going through as it has been my reality ever since I was little.

I have been to many GPs and they have all told me the same thing as well; a diet and exercise will fix everything. Recently I have had an upper endoscopy and they found that I had GERD and a hiatal hernia, all due probably to my binge eating. The gastroenterologist told me the same thing; I just need to lose weight with exercise and eat a balanced diet.

The thing is that I am also depressed which causes me to be really unmotivated and unable to leave the house so exercise for me is incredibly hard and eating a balanced diet seems impossible because I always give up and binge.

My parents have also been not very understanding in terms of my situation as they believe that I am just lazy and with a diet and exercise I’ll lose some weight. The thing is with an eating disorder, that’s just not how it works, and I know due to the countless times I have tried to restrict what I was eating, only to end up binging again.

In terms of advice, what has really helped me is seeing a therapist, as it helps with uncovering why you binge and it’s really nice having someone to talk to. The thing is, results are not gonna appear instantly and although it is hard because you want to heal right away, I keep reminding myself that you need to give yourself time. Another thing that I do is I try to keep myself occupied, something which I struggle with due to depression, but I’ve noticed that if I try my best to focus on soemthing, I’ll be less likely to binge.
 
S

susu469

New member
Joined
Oct 16, 2020
Messages
4
Location
London
Hi susu469 I’m very sorry to hear that you have been struggling with this but I completely understand what you are going through as it has been my reality ever since I was little.

I have been to many GPs and they have all told me the same thing as well; a diet and exercise will fix everything. Recently I have had an upper endoscopy and they found that I had GERD and a hiatal hernia, all due probably to my binge eating. The gastroenterologist told me the same thing; I just need to lose weight with exercise and eat a balanced diet.

The thing is that I am also depressed which causes me to be really unmotivated and unable to leave the house so exercise for me is incredibly hard and eating a balanced diet seems impossible because I always give up and binge.

My parents have also been not very understanding in terms of my situation as they believe that I am just lazy and with a diet and exercise I’ll lose some weight. The thing is with an eating disorder, that’s just not how it works, and I know due to the countless times I have tried to restrict what I was eating, only to end up binging again.

In terms of advice, what has really helped me is seeing a therapist, as it helps with uncovering why you binge and it’s really nice having someone to talk to. The thing is, results are not gonna appear instantly and although it is hard because you want to heal right away, I keep reminding myself that you need to give yourself time. Another thing that I do is I try to keep myself occupied, something which I struggle with due to depression, but I’ve noticed that if I try my best to focus on soemthing, I’ll be less likely to binge.
Hi queer ghost. Thank you for sharing your story! I am currently in therapy and hopefully it will all work out with time. Just have to keep going I guess.
 
B

bearh

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
15
Hello,

I am recently going to psychoanalysis therapy. I have struggled with binge eating and have put on 4 stone in the last 2 years. I feel uncomfortable and do not like my body. It is affecting the physical side of my relationship with my husband. I'm wondering how people manage binge eating and overcome it!? Please help!!
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
2,196
I think most people enjoy eating, it's also a basic human need. As such it can easily give us pleasure and comfort from bad experiences etc, perhaps a sort of self-reward... I find eating slower, gives me greater satisfaction from my eating experiences, and we can consume less calories in the process. There are also other ways to reward ourselves/take our minds of negative/bad experiences. Also cutting out all the toxic from our lives has got to have a positive impact on our quality of life. The problem with feeling guilt/shame from over-eating is it can make us even more upset/depressed than we were before reaching out for that fix, and it can become a vicious circle. The cycle needs breaking and possibly the association of using food as a form of comfort also needs to change... Maybe exercising will also help burn off those extra calories (but if someone isn't feeling good about themselves, there tends to be little or no motivation to do so)... Hope this helps :)
 
B

bearh

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
15
Thanks so much for your reply it means a lot. I think eating more slowly will help. I'm trying to be realistic. My special food is chocolate and something I buy daily and eat secretly. My therapist has said that it all comes down to self esteem- we are talking about things from my past which has brought up lots of questions for me and how I live and want to be as a person. I think I need to not put too much pressure on myself and take it a day at a time. I would love to be one of these people that sticks to routine, exercises regularly and eats well but it never seems to happen that way for me- I go through phases and my weight goes up and down. I worry mostly with my weight now as I want to get my body healthy in the hope that myself and my husband try for children next year. Maybe I need to remember my end goal. Thinking out loud! But hope this helps others xx
 
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