There appears to be a strong connection with men who have suffered sexual abuse in the past and the development of the binge eating disorder, because a large number of males who seek treatment for the disorder have a history of sexual abuse. Therefore, it is important to treat both issues at the same time in order to recover from the addiction of food binging.
What is Binge Eating Disorder?
While the word “binge” is frequently used when describing a period of heavy drinking, it has now come to have a whole new meaning. An eating disorder called bulimia nervosa can impact both men and women, and a well-known aspect of the condition is often referred to as binge eating. During a bout of binge eating, food is eaten in very large quantities. Binging is two times more prevalent in women than men.
Binge eating can be a sole condition, or it can be associated with the bulimia eating disorder where self-induced regurgitation is applied after binging. These spells of overeating are unhealthy and can have a damaging effect on one’s health and well-being. Binging can manifest into a serious problem of morbid obesity in men and women, which can lead to type 2 diabetes and other obesity related diseases.
Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder
The binge eating disorder (BED) is now classified as a distinct disorder. It is defined as habitual episodes of consuming abnormally large amounts of food in a short time. Just as with women, men with Binge eating disorder binge at least once every week to as much as several times a day. It is an ongoing illness where patients are unable to control the amount of food they consume during a binge and are overwhelmed with feelings of anguish afterwards. They usually experience feelings of shame and guilt, but often hide these feelings from others.
Sexual Abuse and Binge Eating Disorder have Common Elements
People with Binge eating disorder and/or a history of sexual abuse typically try to keep their feelings about it a secret. Men who have been sexually abused as children can suffer from feelings of guilt. They often believe they could have stopped it from happening but made the choice not to because of some fault in themselves. As a result, they bury their secret deeper and deeper by trying to comfort and numb themselves through emotional eating.
About half of men who have gone to therapy for eating problems have been sexually or physically abused. The association concerning sexual abuse and developing BED, or any other eating disorder, is feelings of guiltiness, shame, self-punishment, anesthesia, soothing, security, or even rage. Sexual abuse infringes the limitations of oneself so intensely that inner sensations of hunger can manifest in victims and lead them to focus solely on food for comfort.
Finding Treatment for Men who Binge and have a History of Sexual Abuse
Many men are shy or nervous about pursuing therapy and hesitate to get the professional outside help they need to overcome the binge eating disorder. Only experienced specialists have the proper skills to help you. The earlier men seek treatment for BED and sexual abuse, the quicker the recovery process is. There are various hotlines available for eating disorders; however, we specialize in men with BVD who have a history of sexual abuse. You can reach us for more information by calling our helpline at 800-890-3586.