Response to Crisis: Part III of VI

Crises that trigger binges and binge purge episodes The critical incident that triggers binge behavior may be an event in life, the threat of an event in life, or a vivid thought or feeling that may or may not relate to reality. It feels so personal it reaches the emotional depths of you. When you believe you are in an unstable and precarious situation that threatens your sense of security you can feel that your very self is about to be obliterated. That particular internal experience ignites the binge or binge purge episode.

Changing nature of the eating disorder episode
Once you are in the obsessive compulsive episode, the actual and emotional experiences change form. The binge or binge/purge experience blocks your horrific feelings. It grounds your body so you feel more solid or gives you a sense of holding on to something that won’t go away. It also numbs your ability to think outside the binge. Your thinking stays rigid and only permits rethinking your catastrophic thoughts and how to continue your binge or binge purge behavior. As the episode continues you feel a strong sense of shame and despair. Physical pain enters the experiences, and once again, you feel a tremendous fear of annihilation.

End of episode
If you are a compulsive binge eater you will eat till you pass out. If you are bulimic you will binge and move into a purge episode, perhaps many binge purge episodes. You try to flee your experience by vomiting the contents of your binge. No escape exists. The end of the episode comes with physical exhaustion. You remain with the shame and fear.

What is the crisis experience that pushes a person with an eating disorder into such drastic behavior? Where does this overwhelming sense of annihilation come from? Why are drastic eating disorder episodes required to restore equilibrium? Why are you willing to pay such a price? Or are you willing? Do you have a choice?
More to Come
I’ll be exploring these questions around crises, what they are, how they are perceived, how and why a person with an eating disorder responds and what a person can do to respond with more health and skill in this six part post, “Eating Disorder Response to Crisis.”

Eating Disorders:  Response to Crisis

part 1  Overview

part 2

part 3

part 4

part  5

part  6

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