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Binge Eating Disorder


The most common element surrounding ALL Eating Disorders is the inherent presence of a low self esteem

Binge Eating Disorder
Men and Women living with Binge Eating Disorder suffer a combination of symptoms similar to those of Compulsive Overeaters and Bulimia. The sufferer periodically goes on large binges, consuming an unusually large quantity of food in a short period of time (less than 2 hours) uncontrollably, eating until they are uncomfortably full. The weight of each individual is usually characterized as above average or overweight, and sufferers tend to have a more difficult time losing weight and maintaining average healthy weights. Unlike with Bulimia, they do not purge following a Binge episode.

Reasons for Binge Eating can be similar to those of Compulsive Overeating; Using Binges as a way to hide from their emotions, to fill a void they feel inside, and to cope with daily stresses and problems in their lives. Binging can be used as a way to keep people away, to subconsciously maintain an overweight appearance to cater to society's sad stigma "if I'm fat, no one will like me," as each person suffering may feel undeserving of love. As with Bulimia, Binging can also be used as self-punishment for doing "bad" things, or for feeling badly about themselves.

A person suffering with Binge Eating Disorder is at health risk for a heart attack, high blood-pressure and cholesterol, kidney disease and/or failure, arthritis and bone deterioration, and stroke.


Diagnostic Criteria
The following is considered the "text book" definition of Binge-Eating Disorder (BED) to assist doctors in making a clinical diagnosis... it is in no way representative of what a sufferer feels or experiences in living with the illness. It is important to note that you can still suffer from BED even if one of the below signs is not present. In other words, if you think you have BED, it's dangerous to read the diagnostic criteria and think "I don't have one of the symptoms, so I must not have it".

  1. Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:
    • Eating, in a discrete period of time (eg, within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances;
    • A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (eg, a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating).
  2. The binge eating episodes are associated with at least three of the following:
    • Eating much more rapidly than normal
    • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
    • Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
    • Eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating
    • Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or feeling very guilty after overeating
  3. Marked distress regarding binge eating.
  4. The binge eating occurs, on average, at least 2 days a week for 6 months.
  5. The binge eating is not associated with the regular use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (eg, purging, fasting, excessive exercise) and does not occur exclusively during the course of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.

from Stephanie...

My first memory of my disorder was when I was 8. One night after dinner I found myself rummaging through the garbage to finish off what no one else wanted. No one was around. I was very secretive about it. But was my way of having control in my life. My parents were always critical of who I was and my body, especially.

I'd eat in secret, gorging myself with more food than necessary, way beyond the point of feeling full. Guilt, anxiety and fear would always ensue. Feelings of rage, hatred and loathing would follow; or severe depression with suicidal tendencies. You know it's ironic: I understand my disease enough to know that it all stems from issues of control (feeling out of control and abusing food to regain it). But I am so out of control when I abuse food, that it just becomes a vicious cycle day after day after day.

Also Read Personal Stories
from people living with Compulsive Overeating


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