Binge Eating Disorder
What is binge eating disorder?
Binge eating disorder (BED) is among the most common eating disorder in the United States (BEDA, 2014). Binge eating disorder is compulsive overeating in which people consume huge amounts of food while feeling powerless to stop (Smith, et al., 2014). This disorder is generally characterized by recurring episodes of binge eating, feeling out of control while binging, and feeling guilt and shame afterwards (BEDA, 2014). Binge-eating disorder is typically applied to individuals who regularly binge yet do not purge what they eat (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014). People with this disorder tend to eat continuously throughout their day with no planned mealtimes (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014). Some engage in discrete binges of very large amounts of food which are often in response to stress and feelings of anxiety or depression (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014). The individual tends to eat very rapidly and sometimes appears as if they are in a daze as they eat (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014). The individual experiences a lack of control over eating during a binge episode, which lasts for at least 2 hours, and eats until feeling uncomfortably full (BEDA, 2014). People with this disorder often encounter feelings of disgust, depression, shame, or guilt after overeating (BEDA, 2014).
Symptoms and Signs of having Binge Eating Disorder
- Do you feel out of control when eating?
- Do you think about food all the time?
- Do you eat in secret?
- Do you eat until you feel sick?
- Do you eat to escape from worries, relieve stress, or to comfort yourself?
- Do you feel disgusted or ashamed after eating?
- Do you feel powerless to stop eating, even though you want to?
Causes of Binge Eating
Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder
The Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), offers many resources on where to seek treatment in addition to a list of BEDA providers. Please visit www.bedaonline.com if you or a loved one suffers from Binge Eating Disorder.
Myths about Binge Eating
- Binge Eating is simply a bad habit or evidence of poor self-control in an individual. This myth is invalid. Binge eaters hide their out-of-control eating because they fear what others will say about them (Gold, 2012).
- Binge eating is not a real disorder. Binge eating is a real disorder that is listed in the DSM-5 as a mental disorder.
- Binge eaters have no willpower. Many binge eaters happen to be very successful people with plenty of drive and determination. There is evidence that binge eating activates specific regions of the brain in much the same way that using cocaine lights up specific regions in substance abusers (Gold, 2012).
- Binge eaters should just go on diets. Dieting does not "cure" binge eating disorder. In fact, research has shown that calorie-restriction dierts can actually trigger binges, even in people who do not have binge eating disorder (Gold, 2012).
- Surgery is the key to recovery. Gastric bypass and other forms of surgery can sometimes eliminate diabetes and other physical problems a person encounters but it does not eliminate the psychological disorder that causes people to binge eat (Gold, 2012).
BEDA. (2014). Home | Binge Eating Disorder Association. Binge Eating Disorder Association. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from http://bedaonline.com
Gold, S. (2012). Myths about Binge Eating. CBSNews. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/binge-eating-11-dangerous-myths/10/
Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2014). Abnormal Psychology (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Smith, M., Segal, R., & Segal, J. (2014). Binge Eating Disorder. : Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Help. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/binge_eating_disorder.htm