Binge-eating disorder is characterized by recurrent binge-eating episodes during which a person feels a loss of control over his or her eating. Unlike bulimia, binge-eating episodes are not followed by purging, excessive exercise or fasting. As a result, people with binge-eating disorder often are overweight or obese. They also experience guilt, shame and/or distress about the binge-eating, which can lead to more binge-eating.
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9
It’s been said “It takes one to know one.” I now see this concept repeated in my life.
The first occurrence? Well, that was at the apex of my anorexic condition. I was a college freshman, hell-bent on distancing myself from my teenage overweight body as possible. Hence, the serious restriction of calories, interspersed with starvation periods and excessive exercise (up to six hours a day).
Relationships are built on the quality of our conceitedness to God.
People can be so quick to judge. I sometimes am guilty of this. It is an issue that I struggle with. Maybe it is because I so badly need to affirm my fragile righteousness, I don’t know. What I do know is that Jesus wasn’t like that and I need to acquire this knowledge quickly.
Jesus is always gentle with anyone who seeks His help. That person might not receive the help neatly wrapped in a predictable way; that is in a way they perceive.
- Panic Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder)
- Specific Phobias
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Treatment of Anxiety Disorders
- How to Get Help for Anxiety Disorders
- Role of Research in Improving the Understanding and Treatment of Anxiety Disorders
- For More Information
Anxiety Disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older (about 18%) in a given year,1 causing them to be filled with fearfulness and uncertainty. Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event (such as speaking in public or a first date), anxiety disorders last at least 6 months and can get worse if they are not treated. Anxiety disorders commonly occur along with other mental or physical illnesses, including alcohol or substance abuse, which may mask anxiety symptoms or make them worse. In some cases, these other illnesses need to be treated before a person will respond to treatment for the anxiety disorder.
Anorexia nervosa is characterized by emaciation, a relentless pursuit of thinness and unwillingness to maintain a normal or healthy weight, a distortion of body image and intense fear of gaining weight, a lack of menstruation among girls and women, and extremely disturbed eating behavior. Some people with anorexia lose weight by dieting and exercising excessively; others lose weight by self-induced vomiting, or misusing laxatives, diuretics or enemas.
Many people with anorexia see themselves as overweight, even when they are starved or are clearly malnourished. Eating, food and weight control become obsessions. A person with anorexia typically weighs herself or himself repeatedly, portions food carefully, and eats only very small quantities of only certain foods. Some who have anorexia recover with treatment after only one episode. Others get well but have relapses. Still others have a more chronic form of anorexia, in which their health deteriorates over many years as they battle the illness.
According to some studies, people with anorexia are up to ten times more likely to die as a result of their illness compared to those without the disorder. The most common complications that lead to death are cardiac arrest, and electrolyte and fluid imbalances.
Suicide also can result.
Many people with anorexia also have coexisting psychiatric and physical illnesses, including depression, anxiety, obsessive behavior, substance abuse, cardiovascular and neurological complications, and impaired physical development.
Our formative years present the potential for self-harm to thrive. Our early experiences, for better or worse, shape us. And sometimes, that shaping can take the form of addiction. Hypervigilance often results from certain incidents, in which trauma somehow established our need to self-medicate.
“… When a child grows up afraid or under constant or extreme stress, the immune system and body’s stress response systems may not develop normally. Later on, when the child or adult is exposed to even ordinary levels of stress, these systems may automatically respond as if the individual is under extreme stress… Adults with histories of trauma in childhood have been shown to have more chronic physical conditions and problems. They may engage in risky behaviors that compound these conditions (e.g., smoking, substance use, and diet and exercise habits that lead to obesity).” “Effects of Complex Trauma,” http://www.nctsn.org/trauma-types/complex-trauma/effects-of-complex-trauma
My first memory, a traumatic one at that, was when I was three years old; my parents decided to move the family’s sewing machine from one floor of our house to another. But they neglected to remove its drawers, filled with hundreds of needles and pins. Inevitably, I toddled downstairs, stepping on many of them.
Every so often the familiar and even somewhat predictable “amnesia scenario” is resurrected for another made-for-TV-movie or sitcom. The actor stares blankly into once-loved faces and professes no recognition whatsoever. Places, sounds, smells, even names–nothing seems familiar. Memory has been lost; hence, a sense of identity has been lost as well.
And that is exactly what has happened to us–all of us. We have lost our memory. Like the prodigal son’s older brother who toiled endlessly and joyously in the fields, we have forgotten who we are and where we came from. But the forgetting goes beyond the pigsty from which the Father has rescued the prodigals. It extends back to the beginning–to a time when our identity was secure in our fellowship with the Father.
Before the rebellion…
Before the fall…
Before the exile.
As a result, our world is in the midst of an ongoing identity crisis. We walk around, day after day, year after year, generation after generation, trying to find our way back to….somewhere…. hoping that when we get there, someone will recognize us and tell us who we are.
The problem is, even if we figure out where that “somewhere” is, we cannot get ourselves back there, contrary to a song that was popular in the late ’60s and early ’70s that proclaimed the need to get ourselves back to the Garden.
This statement, from its anonymous author, recently caught my attention:
“Hearts are wild creatures. That’s why our ribs are cages.”
Its focus, the heart and the rib cage, hit home. For I have had a disordered history with both.
My obsession with the thin physique created my descent into anorexia and its painful heart issues.
“…I could count all of my ribs. I still wasn’t thin enough; it wasn’t good enough…”*
As I’ve been in recovery from eating disorders, food, weight and body image issues, yes, I’ve had to deal with my heart. That, therefore, includes the related topics of passions, desires and idolatry.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you…”John 15:16a
I know what you’re thinking: “God chooses others, but not me.”
You think it’s because of your secret, don’t you? The awful thing in your past — that abortion or that affair; your divorce; the rape; the sexual abuse; the shameful business failure; your drug usage; alcoholism; criminal past. etc. Like the clumsy, nearsighted child no one picks for playground sports, you want God’s favor, His grace, but it seems beyond your wildest dreams. It’s not.The poem “The Chosen Vessel” tells how God picks a vessel to use: “Take me,” cried the gold one. “I’m shiny and bright,”I’m of great value and I do things just right.” But God passes by the gold, silver, brass, crystal, and wooden urns, and chooses the vessel of clay. The poem explains why:
Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay.
Empty and broken, it helplessly lay.
No hope had the vessel that the Master might choose,
to cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.
“Ah! This is the vessel I’ve been hoping to find,
I will mend and use it and make it all mine.”
Coming from a theater background, I’m no stranger to an audience.
“All the world’s a stage… And one man in his time plays many parts…”
In William Shakespeare’s play, “As You Like It,” Act II Scene VII, purpose-filled life is compared to that of a theatre stage.
How much more does that apply for those of us recovering from addiction, disorder or abuse?
Besides my theater background, I also have an eating disorder history as well. In college, I battled both anorexia and bulimia.
Indeed, during my sophomore year, desperate in my bulimic behavior, I began to dumpster dive…
“… I’d try to play it off, pretending everything was normal as people passed by me scrounging in the dumpster… in broad daylight… I couldn’t hide any longer from others what I was doing… people were noticing…”*
*Excerpt from Sheryle Cruse’s book, “Thin Enough: My Spiritual Journey Through the Living Death of an Eating Disorder”
This was an unwelcomed audience for me.
Nevertheless, people saw. And, no matter how I tried, I could not escape the Presence of the Most High.
For a long time, I fought God.