Binge eating disorder
Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a serious mental illness characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating, which involves consuming large amounts of food in a short period of time, often in secret and to the point of feeling physically uncomfortable.
Lack of control
People with BED feel a lack of control over their eating and experience shame, guilt, and distress about their binge eating episodes. BED is different from bulimia nervosa in that it does not involve purging behaviors such as vomiting or using laxatives.
BED is one of the most common eating disorders, affecting an estimated 2.8% of the U.S. population. It can occur at any age, but is most commonly diagnosed in adulthood. BED affects both men and women, although it is more common in women.
Risk factors for BED include a family history of binge eating or other eating disorders, a history of dieting, low self-esteem, and depression.
The consequences of BED can be severe and include physical health problems such as obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, as well as mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and shame.
Effective treatment for BED typically involves a combination of psychological therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and nutritional counseling. Medications may also be prescribed to help manage symptoms of depression or anxiety. The goal of treatment is to help individuals develop a healthier relationship with food and their body, and to learn how to manage their binge eating behavior.
Recovery from BED is possible, but it can be a long and challenging process. With the right support and treatment, individuals can learn to manage their symptoms and achieve lasting recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with BED, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible.
Frequently asked questions
- What is binge eating disorder? Binge eating disorder (BED) is a mental health disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of overeating, an overwhelming sense of loss of control over eating during these episodes, and distress about the binge eating.
- What are the symptoms of binge eating disorder? The symptoms of binge eating disorder include eating large amounts of food in a short period of time, feeling a lack of control over eating, eating alone due to embarrassment, feeling guilty or ashamed after binge eating, and experiencing physical discomfort (e.g., bloating, indigestion) after binge eating.
- What causes binge eating disorder? The causes of binge eating disorder are not well understood, but it is thought to be a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors. Genetic predisposition, brain chemistry, and trauma, as well as cultural and social pressure to be thin, may all play a role.
- How is binge eating disorder diagnosed? Binge eating disorder is diagnosed by a mental health professional based on a patient's symptoms, medical history, and behavior patterns. A formal evaluation and assessment can help determine if an individual meets the criteria for a BED diagnosis.
- How is binge eating disorder treated? Binge eating disorder can be treated through a combination of therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Medications, such as anti-depressants, may also be used in combination with therapy to treat BED.
- Can binge eating disorder be prevented? There is no sure way to prevent binge eating disorder, but individuals can take steps to manage their eating habits, reduce stress, and maintain a healthy body image. Seeking support from friends and family, engaging in physical activity, and speaking with a mental health professional can also help.
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