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Binge eating disorder

What is a binge eating disorder?

A binge eating disorder or an overeating disorder is a disorder characterised by repeated binge eating. Binge eating is when a person eats a large amount of food over a shorter period than they usually would. During binge eating, the person experiences being out of control.

The cause of binge eating is unknown, but binge eating often occurs after a strict diet or starvation. Normally, individuals with a binge eating disorder do not use disposal methods after binge eating, like individuals with bulimia nervosa do.

How does a binge eating disorder manifest itself?

The main characteristic of a binge eating disorder is repeated uncontrolled binge eating. Individuals with this disorder eat very large amounts of food in a short period of time, usually in private, and experience high levels of not being in control during binge eating. Individuals tend to feel full in an uncomfortable way and are often not necessarily hungry when they start binge eating. They tend to be disgusted with themselves, feel guilty and suffer from dysphoria. Individuals that binge eat usually don’t use disposal methods to get rid of the food they consumed while binge eating.

Individuals with a binge eating disorder usually have low self-esteem and are dissatisfied with their appearance. They often use food to make them feel better or to vent negative emotions.

Binge eating can have a profound effect on the body, which can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, elevated cholesterol and various chronic pain.