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The Science of Binge

Bingeing means having a period of excessive indulgence towards an activity. Today, the term is most frequently used in terms of eating and watching shows or movies continuously for a period of time. Let’s explore why we binge…

Till recently, the term “bingeing” had little use in daily life. It is psychologically associated with Binge eating disorder, where the patient eats excessively in order to cope with negative feelings. However, the word has gained currency after being used in the context of excessive T.V. watching, brought about by the rise of streaming services like Netflix.

T.V. shows that are downloaded via torrents or streamed, allow users to watch episodes without waiting another day or week. There is continuous consumption, much like with binge eating. But why does either take place? Or any kinds of excessive behaviour, like shopping needlessly? Bingeing takes place with activities like eating or watching a show one likes, which leads to happiness. This releases dopamine and serotonin, which are chemicals that result in a high feeling. By continuously watching a show or eating junk, there is a simulation of being joyous. Often, just as Binge eating disorder patients run towards food upon feeling stressed, depressed, or anxious, T.V. show watchers or compulsive shoppers run to their familial place of comfort upon the onslaught of negative emotions. Bingeing of any form is basically a kind of avoidance, a delusion of happiness. With easy access to T.V. shows, food delivery at our doorsteps, and the lack of restrictions for most of us encounter as we enter the supervision-lacking world of college, it comes down to us to develop self-control. While people generally report feeling happy while indulging in bingeing, the end of the whole episode (pun intend) leads to feelings of guilt and shame. Not just that, but overindulgence of anything is harmful to one’s physical and mental well-being.

It has been suggested that bingeing can be controlled by setting strict limits on consumption and getting better at self-monitoring. If you understand why you’re running to something and find out its root cause, then maybe you can work on eradicating the cause, rather than continuing on with the vicious cycle of bingeing and feeling low. It’s necessary to gain control because only that can save us from the attractive world of delusion.

 

Image Credits: Herb

Rishika Singh

rishikas@dubeat.com



Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.


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