Starving Souls
The Torah Perspective On Eating Disorders

The Truth about Eating disorders

Bingeing (Compulsive Overeating)

What is Compulsive Overeating?

Compulsive Overeaters are often caught in the vicious cycle of binge eating and depression. They often use food as a coping mechanism to deal with their feelings. Binge eating temporarily relieves the stress of these feelings, but is unfortunately followed by feelings of guilt, shame, disgust, and depression. Binge eating, like Bulimia, often occurs in secret. It is not uncommon for Compulsive Overeaters to eat normally or restrictively in front of others and then make up for eating less by bingeing in secret. For other Compulsive Overeaters, binges consist of "grazing" on foods all day long. Similar to Anorexics and Bulimics, Compulsive Overeaters are constantly struggling and unhappy with their weight. The number on the scale often determines how they feel about themselves. Medical complications can also be severe and even life threatening for Compulsive Overeaters.



What is Bulimia (Bulimia Nervosa)?

Bulimics are caught in the devastating and addictive binge-purge cycle. The Bulimic eats compulsively and then purges through self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives, diuretics, diet pills, ipecac, strict diets, fasts, chew-spitting, vigorous exercise, or other compensatory behaviors to prevent weight gain. Binges usually consist of the consumption of large amounts of food in a short period of time. Binge eating disorders usually occurs in secret. Bulimics, like Anorexics, are also obsessively involved with their body shape and weight. The medical complications of bulimia nervosa or binge-purge cycle can be severe and like Anorexia can be fatal.

People with bulimia often feel out of control in other areas of life, besides food. Bulimia can have serious medical consequences including dental and esophageal problems, kidney damage, chemical imbalance, and loss of energy and vitality.

If Bulimia Nervosa is left untreated,
it can be FATAL.

The following are some of the common warning signs which indicate that a person may be suffering from bulimia:

  1. Often engages in binge eating

  2. Uses the bathroom frequently during and after meals

  3. Reacts to stress by overeating

  4. Cannot voluntarily stop eating

  5. Is constantly concerned about eating

  6. Feels guilty or ashamed about eating

  7. Experiences fluctuations in weight

  8. Has swollen glands

  9. Has mood swings of depression

  10. Feels out of control


What is Anorexia (Anorexia Nervosa)?

Anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by the restriction of food and the refusal to maintain a minimal normal body weight. Any actual gain or even perceived gain of weight is met with intense fear by the Anorexic. Not only is there a true feeling of fear, but also once in the grasp of the disorder, Anorexics experience body image distortions. Those areas of the body usually representing physical maturity are visualized by the Anorexic as being fat.

Anorexia can cause severe medical problems including hair loss, endocrinological irregularities, gastrointestinal problems, neurological complications and cardiac failure.

For some Anorexics, weight loss is so severe there is a loss of menses. In the obsessive pursuit of thinness, Anorexics participate in restrictive dieting, compulsive exercise, and laxative and diuretic abuse.

If Anorexia Nervosa is left untreated,
it can be FATAL.

The following are some of the common warning signs which indicate that a person may be suffering from anorexia:

• Is thin and continues to get thinner, losing 15% or more of his or her ideal body weight

• Diets or restricts food, even though he or she is not overweight

• Is preoccupied with food, calories and nutrition

• Exercises obsessively

• Constantly weighs him/herself

• Has a distorted body image

• Complains about feeling bloated or nauseous, even when eating less than normal amounts of food

• Feels cold and needs to dress warmly, even in mild temperatures

• Has thinning or loss of hair

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