Binge Eating

Also in this Section

Binge eating disorder is often stigmatized as a lack of control when it comes to eating, but the reality is that there are many complex factors that influence the behaviors associated with binge eating disorder. Aloria approaches care from an integrated model where associated thoughts, emotions, behaviors, contextual issues and co-occurring diagnoses are addressed holistically.

This eating disorder involves a combination of biological influences, environmental triggers, and psychosocial factors that contribute to its development. Binge eating disorder goes far beyond food, though on the surface, it may appear that a person struggling has an inability to control when or how much they eat. According to the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), binge eating disorder is actually the most common eating disorder in the United States, affecting an estimated 3.5% of women and 2% of men [1]. In addition, more individuals are impacted by binge eating disorder than anorexia and bulimia combined.

Signs and Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder

This eating disorder is a complex mental illness, and knowing the signs and symptoms can help you distinguish if you or your loved one may need professional care. It is important to understand that a person who struggles with binge eating disorder is not engaging in these behaviors by choice, nor does this eating disorder have to do with a lack of willpower around food.

An individual dealing with binge eating disorder may exhibit the following signs and symptoms:

  • Feeling a lack of control when eating
  • Eating abnormally large amounts of food over a short time period
  • Continuing to eat even when feeling uncomfortably full
  • Frequently eating alone
  • Hoarding or stockpiling food to eat later in secret
  • Engaging in recurring dieting attempts, even without weight loss
  • Consuming food rapidly during binge episodes
  • Feeling disgust, guilt, or shame about eating behaviors

The behaviors associated with binge eating disorder, such as recurrent binge episodes, can lead to symptoms that may affect a person’s overall health and wellbeing. Some of the symptoms and effects connected with binge eating disorder may be as follows:

  • Increased feelings of depression, anxiety, poor body image, and/or low self-esteem
  • Social isolation or inability to engage with others
  • Inability to sustain normal activities and responsibilities
  • Physical complications related to rapid weight gain or obesity
  • Experiencing self-harm or suicidal ideations/intentions
  • Financial distress due to overspending on food
References

[1]: Binge Eating Disorder Association, “What is BED?”, https://bedaonline.com/understanding-binge-eating-disorder/what-is-bed/ Accessed 20 Oct 2017.