A Tragic But Curable Disorder
There are plenty of eating disorders out there. We have reached an all-time high in overweight and obesity rates because of these eating disorders.
One eating disorder that is often associated with the increase in weight among many people is binge eating disorder. This is characterized by a person’s proclivity to overeat- often due to a mental health condition, normally depression or anxiety.
This disorder affects both men and women and it usually happens in teens and into early adulthood. Research suggests that eating disorder has a close link with low self-esteem.
For a person that is dealing with personal struggles, eating may be an avenue where they can express their ill feelings and be happy about it. It is normally a symptom of an underlying condition- often psychological in nature. Binge eating can lead to other physical and even mental issues: gaining too much weight which can cause heart issues, diabetes, and in the mental category: depression, anxiety, excessive stress and even premature ejaculation.
What is It?
Now, people should be aware that just overeating from time to time does not constitute binge eating disorder. We normally overeat when we are celebrating something like birthdays, the Holidays, or any other festive celebration.
Binge eating disorder is characterized by an excessive eating binge that happens on a frequent basis. People who have this order would normally feel ashamed of themselves and would normally not want anyone to know of their shameful eating habits.
Now, there are cases where we eat for pleasure, but people with binge eating disorder tend to overeat due to an underlying mental health condition.
People with this condition normally would eat copious amounts of food on a regular basis. For a person to be diagnosed with such, they must meet the following criteria:
- Eating to the point that the person cannot take anymore bite (which is done frequently)
- Eating at a much quicker pace than normal
- Excessive eating even when the person is not hungry
- People who eat alone due to the embarrassment usually associated with eating a lot of food
- An extreme feeling of guilt and shame after eating too many foods.
For a person to be diagnosed with this condition, they must have the above-mentioned symptoms for more than 3 months.
Unlike bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder would normally not follow an excessive purge or fast after eating.
Because of the nature of the condition, people with this eating disorder would normally gain excessive amounts of weight to the point of being obese.
People with this condition would normally say that not eating excessively is too hard for them. They may try different diet programs but would ultimately fall to bad eating habits again after a short while. They would either hoard food or would buy plenty of foods just to satisfy their hunger pangs.
Binge Eating Disorder and Mental Health
This condition is normally associated with an underlying mental health condition. Mental health disorders that are normally associated with binge eating disorder are:
- Major depressive disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Mood and anxiety disorders
- Borderline personality disorder
- Alcohol or substance abuse
The treatment of binge eating disorder would normally involve counseling and taking in certain medications. The latter is only applicable in more extreme cases.