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Binge Eating in Adolescence


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Shobhika Jaju is a NET qualified psychologist who would love to be reborn as a shrink every single time. She is the founder of Silver Linings: Guidance & Counselling Centre, in South Goa, & hence is effectively putting her love for psychotherapy & her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology to good use. Shobhika also works at Little’s School, Fatorda (Goa) & writes for several print and online media on a regular basis. She facilitates workshops on topics promoting personal enhancement & spreading mental health awareness. She is affiliated to the American Psychological Association, Bombay Psychological Association, Goa Psychological Association & the Movement for Global Mental Health. Her website can be accessed at silverliningsgoa.com.


9 thoughts on “Binge Eating in Adolescence

  1. Kritika Srinivasan

    Thanks for the interesting post Shobhika. Does binge eating occur only in adolescence or can it start at a younger age as well? Also, it can surface in older people as well, is that correct? Or only in people who have a history of binge eating during adolescence?

    Reply
    1. shobhika

      Binge eating, although common in adolescence, is also very much prevalent in childhood.

      Binge eating can occur frequently among older people as well.

      Although, anybody can become a victim of binge eating, people with a history of the same in adolescence, are more predisposed to exhibiting episodes of bingeing in later life.

      Reply
    1. shobhika

      Binge eating can be caused by several factors, some of which may be biological, social or cultural and emotional.

      Emotional reasons like anxiety, depression are strongly linked to bingeing and so are low levels of self-esteem.

      There are several social and cultral causes like: pressure to be thin may add to shame and embarrassment regarding one’s body weight and lead to bingeing; parents may unintentionally model binge behaviour; a history of sexual abuse is also a strong predictor of binge eating ; and frequently being subjected to frequent negative comments about body shape and size may give rise to bingeing as a form of coping behaviour.

      Biology plays a big role in binge eating:
      – abnormalities in the hypothalamus, which regulates the satiety signals in the brain, may give rise to increased food intake as our brain is not getting the signal that our stomachs are full.
      – Genetics play a role in bingeing as well.
      – And finally, low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin may also play a role in compulsive eating.

      Reply
    2. Rima

      Kritika, I used to be one of them. Always thought it was mostly emotional but when I changed my nutritional habits by 360 degrees, my body began feeling so alive, I no more needed to eat large amounts, quickly, or frequently. I no more craved sugar or chocolate either.

      I figured it is both emotional and biological. In biological – getting nutrition from organic veggies at least 3 full meals of veggies and a meal of organic fruits and high protein + sleep from 10pm to 4am. It totally eradicated my binge eating.

      Once the habit is formed, it is stored in the brain’s memory as a response or defense mechanism hence if formed in childhood, it remains until consciously worked on.

      Reply
      1. Kritika Srinivasan

        Thanks for sharing this Rima. As our children approach adolescence in a world that is completely different from the one we grew up in, there is so much to be apprehensive and careful about!

        Reply
        1. Rima

          Hi Kritika, all the apprehension goes away when we understand that all we have to do is LOVE ourselves and our children. That is the only place required to keep the focus on.

          Sadly, we do everything else- so many classes to make our children smart, best school, etc.. but we dont have time to share with them or to show them our love.

          Reply
          1. shobhika

            Thank you Rima for sharing your experience. It is only when we start talking about our struggles and journey’s, can more people benefit. :)

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