Our expert says:
Eating Disorders Expert
Yes, it certainly sounds like you are describing a Binge-Eating Disorder (BED), which you will not yet find in the psychiatric diagnostic manual, but which will likely be included in the next edition. However, it would now be technically diagnosed as a non-specified eating disorder (EDNOS) and poses a serious problem for you, given that your weight has reached a serious level. Looking at your weight to height ratio, your Body Mass Index is just above 35, which places you well within the Obese weight category. This likely explains your hypertention and raised cholestrol levels, and you need to watch out that you are not yet pre-diabetic. I might be sounding quite alarmist, but there is much that you can do. First, you need to consider returning to therapy to address your emotional eating, as you have already identified that you eat in response to many uncomfortable emotions. Your therapy will help you deal more appropriately with your feelings and emotionally difficult situations. Second, I suggest that you begin consulting with a registered dietician (preferably one who specialised in treating eating disorders) and start on a meal plan that will help bring your weight down in a sensible and gradual manner. Please do not resort to quick fad diets. Your depression is something that you need to continue receiving treatment for, as it might be that your comfort eating is in response to an emotional emptiness. You need to consider that this is not a quick-fix situation you are facing. Your therapeutic process is going to take time and needs to confront challenges at many levels - emotionally, psychiatrically, socially and physically. Only as a last resort, is bariatric surgery an option that you can consider. You do actually just qualify, given your medical concerns and weight (Body Mass Index above 35), but you will need to demonstatre that you can eat in a controlled manner for some time preceeding surgery if you ever seek this route. It is also very expensive, but an increasing number of medical aids are covering these procedures. Ony consider a Centre of Excellence and surgeons with experience and good resputations. However, I strongly recommend you first look at returning to therapy, consider medication for your depression (if you are not already medicated), get into an individualsed and supervised exercise programme through a biokineticist and see a dietician. With hard work and support, you will likely make some very good progress. It is not as simple as substituting sweets for rice cakes. You need to ultimately get to the root of your emotional hunger and resolve what is happening emotionally. However, this process takes time and hard work on your side. I hope this advice helps you. Please email me if you would like some specific referrals for professionals in your area.
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