National Eating Disorders Association

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I have Binge Eating Disorder

When I was 14 I struggled with anorexia but I recovered and moved on with my life. For over a decade I had a healthy relationship with food and what I can only describe as a kind of freedom from constant thoughts about food, weight, etc. Then, at 26 I got my wisdom teeth out and due to complications had a very restrictive diet for a month. Well since then I have developed binge eating disorder with some periods of bulimia. At first I thought it was just a habit, now I know it truly is a habit, an addiction, and a coping mechanism. All things that when added up equal an eating disorder although not one, I ever thought I would struggle with in life. Now I feel the constants thoughts of food, calories, weight, and shame weighing me down again. I know I should find that I recovered once as proof that I can recover again, but instead I am just so sad and angry that this is my life again. I guess I just needed to post publicly and acknowledge my problem, so that I can start trying to move forward. So if anyone has any tips for recovering from BED please provide them to me. Although, I read a book recently and found its focus on viewing BED as just a habit left me really vulnerable to emotional over eating.


Hi Abe - welcome to the forums. We're so glad you're here. Your post had to be edited because mentioning book specifics is not allowed on the forum - take a moment to review our community guidelines here: We also want to make sure you know about the NEDA Helpline! In addition to these forums, please feel free to contact the Helpline at (800) 931-2237, open Monday-Thursday 9AM-9PM EST and Friday 9AM-5PM EST. During these hours you can chat with us also by clicking the chat now option at the top right hand corner! Recovery is possible, and relapse is so often a part of the journey. Be kind to yourself and please continue posting.

Got your back.

Hi Abe - I'm recovered from BED and I relate to that book being triggering. When I was being diagnosed and treated for BED, I found that kind of advice to be dismissive of what I was going through. It's not a "just a habit." Ugh! That's infuriating. The good news is that you do know how to recover, and you are going to be able to do it again. For my BED recovery, I found working with a therapist was the most helpful in understanding what was happening and rewiring my brain. I'm proud of you for acknowledging your struggles and tackling them head-on - don't be ashamed. You can't change what you don't acknowledge. Trust that you can find that same peace with your body and food that you once had - it just takes patience, effort, and time. Keep me posted. <3 STP


Hi Abe123-

I can relate as well, as I struggled with BED after restrictive eating for many years. And a lot of what you describe resonates with me- particularly feeling upset that you're struggling again and your life is once again being consumed by ED. I know I felt that way when I was backsliding towards relapse earlier this year after 4+ years not worrying about food at all- it was like 'not this again, I thought that I was past this already.' But because it is a mental disorder and is not just a habit that we can snap our fingers and be rid of, it means it is something to be continuously aware of and manage. Though recovery is certainly possible, unfortunately with ED it can rear its head again in new stressors or seasons of life. Which is why in my journey- instead of just trying to muster up the willpower to stop the behavior, finding healing and recovery has come from working with a therapist to identify and work through the deeper issues leading to my ED in the first place. And as the previous poster says, it's a process that takes patience and time. I think it's amazing that you have come to a place of freedom with food in the past and I would draw strength from that as you move forward- that you do know that place and can get there again. Try to be gentle with yourself instead of beating yourself up for struggling again- it's hard, but remember it is not a habit you're choosing- you did not choose to be struggling with this illness. I am also proud of you for choosing to post and acknowledge these struggles- I hope to hear from you again soon and that you'll keep us posted. We're here for you, you are not alone <3


when stopping purging and what happens next

I have stopped purging for the first time in my life. This is month six. In over 30 years. Nothing has prepared me for how strongly my feelings come right up to the surface, practically a purging of those in and of themselves.

I feel tremendous anger and resent around past pain. While I'm trying to let myself feel and forgive and let go, I feel triggered oftentimes by other situations. At the same time, I have been setting clear boundaries around what does and doesn't serve me and this has been hard to do because others and myself are not used to this. I almost feel I put my foot down harder than necessary because I'm claiming back my power.

Now that purging is less present I see how every present binge eating is, and my habitual ways of relating to my body and food. I do feel shame after I binge eat, but also feel oddly relief that I did not purge. This continues to be where i am struggling and frankly fighting every day for taking back my power of my life.

I'm a bit unclear if I'm spinning or making progress in my healing and recovery right now. I'm looking for a new therapist, and nutritionist now that I have insurance again to add to a healer and two friends because I need reinforcements in my support system. I've opened up about my eating disorder and its roots for the first time.

Is anyone else going through these what feels to me like roller coasters, but trying to trust what's happening?

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