National Eating Disorders Association

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Initial BED questions

hey all - i'm new to these forums. i've been diagnosed with BED for a few weeks now, but have been struggling with binge eating and restriction issues since i was a freshman in college (i'm 25 now). i think i was in denial for a long time about having an eating disorder, since i didn't want to actually have to change my behaviors/patterns. i'm now becoming more aware of all of the food rituals i have. i actually went into therapy a few months ago expecting to deal with completely (!) separate issues, but obviously, because ED can really take hold of your life, it came up. i feel blindsided, since i genuinely didn't expect to hear "you have an eating disorder." i thought i had an eating "problem," which in my mind, is completely different. kind of like disordered eating vs. eating disorder. i read a previous post about someone feeling like an "ED fraud" or something to that effect, and i really can identify with that statement. anyway, i'm really trying to come to terms with it now, and i'm aware of all of NEDA's resources/links. i guess i just have a few initial questions:

1. i don't know how to build my support network. i still feel as if i'm not ready to change my behaviors. so i don't want to wear people out unnecessarily, especially since i don't exactly feel committed to making a change. i've told two close friends about my ED but that's all. i think i'm "feeding" myself a load of crap. can anyone challenge my thought here? would help.

2. is it common for people with BED to restrict as i am? one of the reasons i feel more compelled to overeat after dinner is because i don't want to go to bed hungry, which may delay me in falling asleep - also have sleeping issues. so there is some anxiety about that.

thanks for taking the time to read all of this. i really appreciate any advice you have to give.

just as a quick follow up to

also, second question around restriction was also a question of ednos? does anyone know if the type of restriction i mention plus the history of binge eating is associated with BED or ednos usually? it help because the diagnosis allows me to see thing more clearly in my head, and makes me more aware that i am dealing with more than just a small "problem." my psychologist has already told me i have BED, but i'm not sure he was aware of my specific patterns of restricting (he may have been, i just can't remember).

Hi yellow628

Hey there!!

Thank you so much for trusting these forums with your thoughts and concerns!! I hope that you find some support here through the forums!!!

I know you posted a lot, so please forgive me if I forget to talk about something...

I can relate to how overwhelming it feels to have to address an eating disorder. There is a lot of doubt regarding what is normal and what is not. Believe me, I know how confusing it can get!!!! But, I think that it helps a lot to have a therapist that specializes in eating disorders. Would it be possible to try seeing a specialist? If you are not sure where to find one you can call the NEDA Helpline at 1-800-931-2237 and they will help!! I think being very upfront and honest about your questions with a specialist would help the most. Having a therapist was my way of having confidence in what was considered a behavior versus a normal thing.

I know you mentioned you were not sure about how to develop a support network. I agree that it seems difficult to find others who do not judge us, but there are individuals who have recovered or are recovering that are here to help!!! Have you tried finding a support group? They can be a great resource that provides a source of friendship and accountability. If you don't know where a group is, you can try finding one through this link:

Also, NEDA has this great program called NEDA Navigators. They are trained volunteers that have recovered from an eating disorder and are here to be a support and recovery buddy! Here is a link about this program as well:

I know I gave a lot of information, so please let me know if you have any questions! I hope all is well!!!!

hi michael:

hi michael:

thanks so much for taking the time to reply - i really appreciate your thoughtful and helpful answers. i have seen these links already, and in terms of seeing an ED specialist, why do you think that's necessary if i've already gotten a diagnosis from my psychologist? granted, he's not an ED specialist, but he is a licensed clinical psychologist. in terms of behavior vs. normal, you're right, i imagine that a specialist would help in that instance. its just that i feel as though i'm already "caught up in the details" if you know what i mean - as much as i want to be as clear and accurate as possible (ie. need for a sense of certainty and control) i'm not sure its serving me. i guess what i'm trying to say is if the bottom line is i still have an ED (i know it, my psychologist knows it), so what's the point in determining whether its EDNOS or BED? especially since in dsm iv BED is EDNOS. so my point in seeing an ED specialist would be to get this technicality straightened out? that's why i asked the question about restriction, because if it is "normal", then i would agree and say, yes, i have BED. otherwise, i would say "maybe", and consider EDNOS. i think the issue for me is the severity. now that i know i have an ed, it really doesn't (at least, shouldn't) matter whether its BED or EDNOS, right? see, i've already gotten caught up in these details...sorry if that was confusing.

i have been to a support group once, although they only meet once a month. it was actually a very enlightening and moving experience - i didn't expect to find people so similar to myself. it was nice, actually.

thanks again for your time. hope you're doing well.


I am so glad that you have been to a support group and enjoyed it! Those can be super helpful during recovery.

As far as seeing an ED specialist vs. some other psychologist, I think that the ED specialist can help you get to the root of why you binge. The ED specialist is trained to help people just like you. They know the signs of an eating disorder and the necessary techniques to overcome the disorder. A regular psychologist will know some about eating disorders, but it will not be their main focus. They may have had a few clients in the past, but they don't know everything on how to treat it.

When it comes down to it, I would recommend seeing an ED specialist. Then again, if you feel that you have maintained a trusting relationship with another psychologist, then I think you should go with who you are most comfortable around. Being able to open up and not leave anything bottled up inside is a huge factor when it comes to a successful recovery.

When I got help for my eating disorder, I saw a therapist that specialized in eating disorders. I have seen others psychologists in the past but I felt the most comfortable around her. She had personally dealt with an eating disorder as well so she knew many of the emotions I was going through. She also had some wonderful tools and worksheets for me to take home and work on.

I hope this helped! Ultimately, it is your decision. Stay strong!



thanks for your response! that was really helpful information, and i appreciate your input. i will consider these things :)

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