Characteristics Of Binge Eating Disorder

Characteristics Of Binge Eating Disorder

Compulsive Overeating or Binge eating disorder, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.

Binge Eating Disorder, also called compulsive overeating, is a common eating disorder that is becoming more widely discussed in the medical literature. Although not yet recognized as a formal diagnosis in the DSM, most health professionals currently agree that binge eating is a relatively widespread problem It is likely that the DSM will include this disorder in the next edition of the manual.

It is estimated that 2% of adults have binge eating disorder, or approximately 1 to 2 million Americans. Binge eating is more common among obese people and among adults who have experienced yo-yo dieting . Binge eating is also more common in women three women are affected for every two men. Research indicates that people from different ethnic and racial backgrounds are affected equally.

Binge Eating Disorder is characterized by periods of eating large quantities of food in a short amount of time, often in isolation, due to embarrassment. Many individuals who binge eat very rapidly until they are uncomfortably full. Associated with these frequent binges are intense feelings of being out of control and powerless to stop eating, as well as disgust, shame and depression. However, unlike individuals with bulimia, binge eaters do not engage in compensatory behaviors, such as vomiting, exercising or misusing laxatives and diuretics. While this ultimately makes them physically healthier than their bulimic peers, they often gain weight as a result of high-calorie food consumption.

Binge Eating Disorder And Family Patterns Of Self

The factors that influence the development of binge eating disorder are complex and involve genetics , the environment of both your past and present, the social conditions you are exposed to, and much more. One aspect that that can also be influential in the development of BED is the nature of a family setting and the way in which children are taught to soothe themselves and cope with their emotions.

Some Of The More Common Signs Of Binge Eating Disorder Are:

If someone is developing binge eating disorder, often changes in behaviour are noticeable before changes to physical appearance. Signs include:

  • Buying lots of food
  • Organising life around bingeing episodes
  • Compromise of education and employment plans

Binge eating disorder is a mental illness, and you might notice changes in the way you or someone you know feels before physical symptoms become obvious. Psychological signs include:

  • Spending a lot or most of their time thinking about food
  • A sense of being out of control around food, or a loss of control over eating
  • Feeling anxious and tense, especially over eating in front of others
  • Low confidence and self-esteem
  • Feelings of shame and guilt after bingeing
  • Other mental illnesses, such as depression or anxiety

There are several physical consequences associated with binge eating disorder:

  • Poor skin condition

Like any eating disorder, binge eating disorder can have long-term physical effects, some of which may be permanent. These include:

  • Damage to the oesophagus and stomach

Recommended Reading: Center For Autism Related Disorders

What Other Health Problems Can You Have With Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder may lead to weight gain and health problems related to obesity. Overweight and obesity are linked to many health problems, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. People with binge eating disorder may also have mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts. Some people with binge eating disorder also have sleep disorders, problems with their digestive system, or joint and muscle pain. More than half of people with binge eating disorder report it caused them problems in social functioning, for example, it interferes with their normal daily activities.1

Diagnostic And Statistical Manual

Binge Eating Disorder (BED): Causes, Characteristics &  Treatment

Previously considered a topic for further research exploration, binge eating disorder was included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 2013. Until 2013, binge eating disorder was categorized as an Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, an umbrella category for eating disorders that don’t fall under the categories for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. Because it was not a recognized psychiatric disorder in the DSM until 2013, it has been difficult to obtain insurance reimbursement for treatments. The disorder now has its own category under DSM-5, which outlines the signs and symptoms that must be present to classify a person’s behavior as binge eating disorder. Studies have confirmed the high predictive value of these criteria for diagnosing BED.

According to the World Health Organization’s ICD-11 classification of BED, the severity of the disorder can be classified as mild , moderate , severe and extreme .

One study claims that the method for diagnosing BED is for a clinician to conduct a structured interview using the DSM-5 criteria or taking the Eating Disorder Examination. The Structured Clinical Interview takes no more than 75 minutes to complete and has a systematic approach which follows the DSM-5 criteria. The Eating Disorder Examination is a semi-structured interview which identifies the frequency of binges and associated eating disorder features.

Recommended Reading: What Causes Paranoid Personality Disorder

Bed Holistic Health And Weight Loss

Overweight binge eaters represent a collision of two traditional treatment worlds: eating disorders and weight control. 30-40% of those seeking weight loss treatment meet the criteria for BED. In a residential weight control treatment setting, this link between overweight/obesity and binge eating is striking. Our mean BMI is 43.3 and data suggest that 43.7 % of our participants have BED. A host of co-morbidities results from this combination of eating pathology and obesity.

Interview With Carolyn Costin

Interview with Carolyn Costin: I had been recovered from anorexia nervosa for a while and my friends knew this so when a young girl with anorexia needed help people sought me out. When I saw this person it was like I knew the inside of her mind. She felt understood and she got better. Then I got another referral and she got better too. Soon people all around my town and the surrounding cities started referring to me. It was only then, that I knew I had to do this work.

Recommended Reading: Worksheets For Borderline Personality Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder: How College Can Make It Worse

With anorexia having the highest mortality rate among any other psychiatric illness, the focus and attention given towards prevention and treatment is absolutely essential. However, sometimes overshadowed is the equally devastating Binge Eating Disorder, also classified as a major eating disorder by the American Psychiatric Association in May of 2013. Learn more about the devastating effects of BED while at college here.

Other Types Of Studies

Bulimia nervosa – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment & pathology

are used in psychology for the purpose of measuring and , monitoring changes in , and checking the validity of experimental manipulations . Psychologists have commonly used paper-and-pencil surveys. However, surveys are also conducted over the phone or through e-mail. Web-based surveys are increasingly used to conveniently reach many subjects.

are commonly conducted in psychology. In observational studies, psychologists collect data at a single point in time. The goal of many cross-sectional studies is the assess the extent factors are correlated with each other. By contrast, in psychologists collect data on the same sample at two or more points in time. Sometimes the purpose of longitudinal research is to study trends across time such as the stability of traits or age-related changes in behavior. Because some studies involve endpoints that psychologists cannot ethically study from an experimental standpoint, such as identifying the causes of depression, they conduct longitudinal studies a large group of depression-free people, periodically assessing what is happening in the individuals’ lives. In this way psychologists have an opportunity to test causal hypotheses regarding conditions that commonly arise in people’s lives that put them at risk for depression. Problems that affect longitudinal studies include , the type of problem in which bias is introduced when a certain type of research participant disproportionately leaves a study.

Don’t Miss: Bipolar I Disorder Dsm 5

Binge Eating Episode Characteristics

There is limited evidence in the published literature to support the individual characteristics of a binge eating episode described in the DSM-5. Of the five indicators of impaired control listed in the DSM-5 , eating large amounts of food when not hungry and eating alone because of embarrassment were found to be the best predictors of a BED diagnosis.22

What Are The Characteristics Of Binge Eating Disorder

By | Submitted On November 08, 2011

If you experience times of compulsive overeating, it is typical to wonder if you have developed an eating disorder. If you have binge eating disorder, you know the extreme embarrassment that goes along with your relationship with food. This type of disorder is characterized by an unhealthy eating pattern that is based on emotions. You may attempt to diet with little or no results. You may also experience a range of negative emotions associated with eating and food. If this sounds like you, you may want to consider seeking help for an eating disorder.

When you have binge eating disorder, you experience an unhealthy relationship with food. This relationship is based on emotions and not the feeling of being hungry. When life becomes stressful you may turn to food to feel better and bring some sense of happiness. Your eating patterns during this time may consist of eating a large amount of food, eating quickly, and hiding food. One way to repair this relationship is to find non-food related activities that can bring you the same sense of happiness.

Want to discover how to lose weight without starving yourself? Eat whatever you want and live the life that you deserve? Then go here for your FREE 7 days Course and discover the principles and techniques to eat what you love without guilt, to lose weight and to maintain that weight loss forever.

Recommended Reading: How Long Can You Live With Myeloproliferative Disorder

What Kind Of Eating Disorders Are There

There are many different terms to describe eating disorders, and it is important to know the diagnosis is not everything. Most individuals with eating disorders experience behaviors on a spectrum. Anyone who struggles with the relationship between their body and mind deserves support and help. Though eating disorders present differently for individuals, the pain and suffering of an eating disorder is inclusive for all.

Types of eating disorders include:

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa involves severe restriction of food intake, leading to significantly low body weight . A person suffering from AN has an intense fear of gaining weight, even when they have dangerously low body weight. This person may also have a disturbed body image, meaning that they truly feel and believe they are overweight even when they are clearly underweight. Someone with AN often evaluates his or herself based on their body image and may not recognize the seriousness of their condition. People with AN often limit or restrict other parts of their lives besides food, including relationships, social activities, and pleasure.

There are two types of AN, restricting type and binge-eating/purging type. A person with restricting type of AN does not engage in binge/purge behaviors. Their weight loss is from severe restriction. The binge-eating/purging type of AN involves recurrent episodes of binge eating and/or purging behavior .

Bulimia Nervosa

Binge Eating Disorder



Understanding Binge Eating Disorder In Men

The Medical Binge Eating Disorder Definition and Why Is It Different ...

byMichael Jubinville, MPH

Binge eating is a pattern of disordered eating. It affects more people in the US than anorexia or bulimia nervosa. Though eating disorders are generally associated with women, nearly 40% of people with binge eating disorder are men. Binge eating was traditionally viewed as a symptom of other eating disorders. It is now recognized as a true disorder that is now part of the recently published DSM-5 .

Like other eating disorders, it has both psychological and social components. Men with this disorder struggle with the urge to binge, then feel shame after a bingeing incident. This can become a vicious cycle that increases binges and leads to unhealthy weight gain and obesity. The good news is there are treatments available.

Binge eating disorder is a loss of control over your eating. It is different than eating associated with normal weight gain. People with this disorder have an unhealthy connection to eating that leads to compulsive behavior. During a binge the amount of food eaten is larger than most people would consume in a similar amount of time. The excess amount of food is often eaten in less than 2 hours. In addition to binge eating, people with this disorder will experience some of the following:

The bingeing may occur at any time of day or night. It is a cycle of eating, shame, and despair. Bingeing often becomes secretive which may make it difficult for family and friends to recognize that there is a problem.

Also Check: Eating Disorder Treatment Los Angeles

Unscientific Mental Health Training

Some observers perceive a gap between scientific theory and its applicationin particular, the application of unsupported or unsound clinical practices. Critics say there has been an increase in the number of mental health training programs that do not instill scientific competence. Practices such as ” for infantile autism” memory-recovery techniques including and other therapies, such as and , may be dubious or even dangerous, despite their popularity. These practices, however, are outside the mainstream practices taught in clinical psychology doctoral programs.

What Is Binge Eating Disorder And What Are The Symptoms

People with BED may eat a lot of food in a short amount of time, even if they arent hungry. Emotional stress or destress often plays a role and might trigger a period of binge eating.

A person might feel a sense of release or relief during a binge but experience feelings of shame or loss of control afterward .

For a healthcare professional to diagnose BED, three or more of the following symptoms must be present:

  • eating much more rapidly than normal
  • eating until uncomfortably full
  • eating large amounts without feeling hungry
  • eating alone due to feelings of embarrassment and shame
  • feelings of guilt or disgust with oneself

People with BED often experience feelings of extreme unhappiness and distress about their overeating, body shape, and weight (1,

An episode of binge eating can be triggered by stress, dieting, negative feelings relating to body weight or body shape, the availability of food, or boredom .


The causes of BED are not fully known. As with other eating disorders, a variety of genetic, environmental, social, and psychological risks are associated with its development.

You May Like: Autism And Sensory Processing Disorder

Losing Your Job To A Binge Eating Disorder It Can Happen

You spend about half of your life at your job. It is a big part of your social interaction and provides a platform to boost your self-esteem. So what does a binge eating disorder have to do with your job? Lots of people struggle with BEDs. Studies show as many as 2.6% of our adult population binge eat. Can it really put your job at risk? The answer is yes, and in more ways than you think.

Binge Eating Disorder Definition

Binge Eating Disorder (BED): Symptoms, Common Triggers, & Treatment | Mass General Brigham

An episode of binge eating is described as eating an atypically large amount of food in a short period of time while feeling of loss of control during the episode and immense shame and guilt afterward. Binge eating disorder may also be commonly referred to as Compulsive overeating disorder, or Night Eating Syndrome , though the terms have slightly different criteria.

Recommended Reading: Generalized Anxiety Disorder Treatment Plan Example

What Are The Symptoms Of Binge Eating Disorder

If you have binge eating disorder, you may

  • eat a large amount of food in a short amount of time for example, within 2 hours5
  • feel you lack control over your eating for example, you cannot stop eating or control what or how much you are eating

You also may

  • eat more quickly than usual during binge episodes
  • eat until you feel uncomfortably full
  • eat large amounts of food even when you are not hungry
  • eat alone because you are embarrassed about the amount of food you eat
  • feel disgusted, depressed, or guilty after overeating5

If you think that you or someone close to you may have binge eating disorder, share your concerns with a health care professional, who can connect you to helpful sources of care.

Defining Characteristics Of Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder is a relatively recently recognized disorder . Some researchers believe it is the most common of the eating disorders affecting millions of Americans. Similar to bulimia nervosa, those with binge eating disorder frequently consume large amounts of food while feeling a lack of control over their eating. However, this disorder is different from bulimia nervosa because people with binge eating disorder usually do not purge their bodies of the excess food they consume during a binge episode.

Diagnostic Criteria: DSM-IV

A. Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode is characterized by:

1. Eating a larger amount of food than normal during a short period of time

2. Lack of control over eating during the binge episode .

B. Binge eating episodes are associated with three or more of the following:

1. Eating until feeling uncomfortably full

2. Eating large amounts of food when not physically hungry

3. Eating much more rapidly than normal

4. Eating alone because you are embarrassed by how much you’re eating

5. Feeling disgusted, depressed, or guilty after overeating

C. Marked distress regarding binge eating is present

D. Binge eating occurs, on average, at least 2 days a week for six months

E. The binge eating is not associated with the regular use of inappropriate compensatory behavior and does not occur exclusively during the course of bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa.

Treatment Options:

Recommended Reading: Are You Born With Bipolar Disorder

Similar Articles

Most Popular