Binge Eating

Merriam-Webster defines Binge Eating as uncontrolled compulsive eating. Binge eating is a common problem reported by many of my patients. Sometimes people binge eat in response to true hunger. More commonly in our culture, where food is often available in excessive quantities, binge eating can become disordered eating. Binge eating is considered a disorder when the following statements are true:

  1. Your binge eating episodes are recurrent and persistent.
  2. When you binge you do at least three of the following things:
    • Eat much more rapidly than normal
    • Eat until you feel uncomfortably full
    • Eat large amounts of food when you’re not feeling physically hungry
    • Eat alone because you’re embarrassed by how much you’re is eating
    • Feel disgusted with yourself, depressed, or very guilty after binging
  3. You experience marked distress about your binge eating
  4. You don’t purge (by vomiting, using laxatives) or compensate by excessively exercising following a binge.

Binge Eating Disorder is the most common eating disorder in the United States. It effects more women than men and more adults than teens but it is not uncommon among men and adolescents.

People who suffer from binge eating disorder are much more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression throughout their lives as well.

Binge Eating Disorder is highly treatable, usually with a combination of medication (such as SSRIs and a new medication that is approved by the FDA to treat binge eating disorder) and cognitive behavioral or interpersonal therapy. If binge eating is making you sad, guilty, overweight and/or you are suffering the physical effects of prolonged binge eating, talk to a Wellpsyche provider today about regaining control of your eating and your health.

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