Understanding and overcoming binge-eating disorder

Posted by Lisa Hardesty, Ph.D.
February 26, 2013

LisaHardestyPhDSometimes we push our waistbands to the limit – especially during holidays or other special events. But when you lose control of your eating habits on a regular basis and find yourself ashamed and embarrassed, there may be a serious underlying condition. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, binge-eating disorder occurs in 3 to 5 percent of women and 2 percent of men in the United States. This means it has become more common than anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. 

Understanding binge-eating disorder and finding ways to cope with it can make a difference in your life or the life of a loved one. 

Q. What is binge-eating disorder?

A. Binge-eating disorder is a severe eating disorder in which you frequently consume large amounts of food. This usually occurs in secret and results in great personal shame. This condition usually becomes a compulsive act that turns into an uncontrollable habit. 

Many people with binge-eating disorder are overweight and unhappy with their body image. 

Q. What are some symptoms of binge-eating disorder?

A. Again, everyone overeats occasionally, but when your cravings and compulsions become insatiable, binge-eating disorder could be the cause. 

Some symptoms to watch for include:

  • Eating excessive amounts of food
  • Eating when you feel full or don’t have an appetite
  • Eating at a rapid pace during a binge episode
  • Eating alone on a regular basis
  • Experiencing disgust, depression, guilt or shame about your eating habits
  • Feeling like your eating habits are uncontrollable

Read more: Understanding and overcoming binge-eating disorder part 2...

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