As a friend or family member of someone who may be struggling with Binge Eating Disorder, you may be going through a range of emotions yourself from anger and frustration to feeling overwhelmed hopeless and helpless. You have tried really hard to show empathy, compassion, and support but some days it really feels like you just don’t understand because it’s like speaking another language.
Here are some interpretations of the comments and behaviors you may hear and see your friend or family member experience. Use them to start decoding that language and empower yourself to help in a more efficient and constructive manner.
Turning down invitations to parties, gatherings and social events may mean:
- “I don’t want people to see me at this weight”
- “I look really different from the last time they saw me”
- “I don’t know if I am going to be able to control myself from the food”
- “What if I end up binge eating and somebody finds out”
Trying to use tools to stop the binge but still relapsing may mean:
- “I don’t know why I can’t just stop myself”
- “The food really helps to bring my anxiety down”
- “It makes the sadness go away for a short while- but it feels good”
- “I don’t want to think or feel anything”
- “I just can’t help it- when it’s just sitting there it’s calling me!” “I feel like I’m depriving myself and I want it even more!”
- Its like I’m addicted to drugs or alcohol- I just can’t stop eating.
Food wrappers lying around or stuffed in the garbage or large quantities of food missing may mean:
- “I don’t want anybody to see me and what I’m eating”
- “I’m so embarrassed- I can’t believe I just ate all that!”
- “Everybody is going to be so disappointed in me- I can’t let them see what I have done”
Large amounts of money missing may mean:
- “I just can’t stop- I can’t control myself from going to the grocery store/fast food restaurant and buying and binge eating all the food.”
Isolating may mean:
- “I hate my body, arms, legs, thighs…”
- “Nothing fits me comfortably- I don’t know what to wear.”
- “People are just going to stare at me wherever I go”
- “I am disgusting”
- “I am not worthy of a relationship or I’m too afraid of a relationship”
- “I don’t like the attention- it makes me feel unsafe and uncomfortable”
Difficulty Managing emotions like anxiety and depression may mean:
- “I just can’t stop the negative thinking”
- “I feel miserable- what’s the point of doing any of this?’
- “It’s so hard to sleep and relax- I’m just worrying about everything!”
If you’re seeing and hearing all or any of the above, its time to let your friend/family member know:
“I’m noticing that you…… and I’m really worried about you/your health”
“I’m here to support you in any which way I can- let’s find a professional that can help you with this?
For more information on Binge Eating Disorder and how to help support a loved one struggling with it, please go to the Resource page:
And of course, you are welcome to call for a complimentary consultation at 469 854 1656.