OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Almost all of us eat a huge amount of food now and then, but some people just can’t stop eating. Binge Eating Disorder is the most common eating disorder yet the one that’s least recognized and understood.
Cathy Kraai would eat a half-gallon of ice cream, a whole pizza or a bag of chips.
“It was greasy, salty, sugary, I ate it,” said Kraai.
Kraai would eat the food in one sitting — or standing. Her husband once found her standing in her closet. Kraai showed us that closet.
“Here’s where I would hide stuff. I might even have — oh, I do. There’s an old box of Oreos. (He) caught me eating my Oreos in the closet,” said Kraai.
That’s Binge Eating Disorder. The secrecy, shame and isolation went on for more than twenty years, going back to high school when Kraai says she used food to cope with typical teen angst. Over the years, she didn’t realize she had an illness that many others have.
“People that are using foods to deal with difficult emotions for them,” said Dr. Michelle Micsko, a psychologist with InSight Counseling in Overland Park.
The psychologist says the disorder is defined as eating within a two-hour period more food than considered normal. It can be rapid eating or grazing. It happens at least once a week for at least three months in episodes that are out of control.
Watch the video to see how Kraai is recovering from Binge Eating Disorder.