What is binge eating disorder?
Binge eating disorder is a serious eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of consuming large amounts of food in a short time, often with a sense of loss of control. Some may binge in response to emotional triggers, while others may do so habitually or impulsively. Unlike bulimia, individuals with binge eating disorder do not engage in regular compensatory behaviors like purging. Binge eating disorder is associated with emotional distress, guilt, and shame, and it can lead to various health concerns. Treatment typically involves psychotherapy, nutritional counseling, and support to address the binge eating episodes and related emotional factors.
Do binge eaters gain weight?
While recurrent binge eating can ultimately result in weight gain, binge eating disorder is not directly associated with weight – one does not have to be in a higher weight body to have it.
How is binge eating disorder diagnosed?
The diagnosis of binge eating disorder typically involves a thorough evaluation by a healthcare or mental health professional. To diagnose binge eating disorder, the healthcare provider follows specific criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
Key diagnostic criteria include:
1. Recurrent episodes of binge eating, defined by:
- Eating an excessive amount of food within a discrete time period (e.g., within two hours).
- A sense of lack of control during the binge episode.
2. Binge eating episodes occur at least once a week for three months or more. If the behavior occurs less frequently, the person may experience a low-frequency version of bulimia, which falls under the “Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder” category.
3. The presence of three or more of the following:
- Eating more rapidly than normal.
- Eating until uncomfortably full.
- Eating large amounts of food when not physically hungry.
- Eating alone due to embarrassment about the quantity consumed.
- Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty after the episodes.
4. Binge eating is not associated with regular compensatory behaviors like purging, as seen in bulimia nervosa.
A thorough assessment also considers the individual's medical history, eating patterns, emotional state, and physical health. It's essential to consult with a qualified healthcare provider or mental health specialist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment planning.
People often experience binge eating for months or years before seeking treatment.
Learn more about our specialty virtual program to treat BEDWalden’s Free to Be IOP
You are not alone. We’re here to help.
Walden, a Monte Nido Affiliate, offers a specialized virtual treatment program for binge eating disorder. If you are concerned that you, or a loved one, may have an eating disorder, we are here to help.
Please reach out or email Admissions@MonteNidoAffiliates.com to connect with a member of our Admissions Team. Begin your journey to recovery today.
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