Binge Eating Disorder

What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge Eating Disorder is a serious mental illness characterised by regular episodes of binge eating. The reasons for developing Binge Eating Disorder will differ from person to person; known causes include genetic predisposition and a combination of environmental, social and cultural factors. Binge Eating Disorder can occur in people of all ages and genders, across all socioeconomic groups, and from any cultural background. Large population studies suggest that equal numbers of males and females experience Binge Eating Disorder.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder?

A person with a binge eating disorder is just as likely to be a normal weight. As with bulimia nervosa, there are often no obvious physical signs or symptoms that someone is suffering with binge eating disorder.

However, when a woman has binge eating disorder she often has numerous behavioural signs and symptoms. These may include:

  • Eating large amounts of food
  • Eating rapidly during binge episodes
  • Frequently eating alone
  • Hiding empty food containers
  • Eating even when full
  • Frequent dieting without weight loss
  • Hoarding food

To receive a diagnosis of depression, these symptoms must cause the individual clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. The symptoms must also not be a result of substance abuse or another medical condition

Binge eating disorder is more accurately characterized by its emotional symptoms:

  • Lack of control once one begins to eat
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Disgust or self-hatred about eating behaviours
  • Eating
  • Grief
  • Shame

After a binge, a person may try to diet or eat normal meals. Unlike bulimics, who habitually purge themselves following eating binges, for a binge eater attempting to restrict food intake may simply trigger more binge eating, creating a vicious cycle.

Are you ready to make a change?

You are very welcome to get in touch, for any enquiries or questions you may have, or to schedule an appointment.