What is binge eating disorder

Posted by: Center for Growth Therapists

What is binge eating disorder?

Binge eating disorder appears to be the most common eating disorder.  Although it was first discovered in the late 1950’s it was not added to the Diagnostic statistical Manual of psychiatric disorders (DSM) until the 1990’s.  It has been added to the DSM for research purposes but it is still under the general heading of EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified). 

Binge eating disorder is similar to bulimia.  Like bulimia nervosa, the person with binge eating disorder binges privately and then experiences feelings of shame and disgust.  They might have the feeling of being “out of control,” and that they cannot stop. However, individuals with binge-eating disorder do not engage in the compensatory behaviors such as vomiting, laxatives and diet pills that are normally associated with bulimia.  They usually don’t obsessively exercise after their binge, and therefore individuals with this disorder are normally overweight or obese. People in both categories (Binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa) both turn to binging in order to avoid unpleasant feelings.  In order for a DSM diagnosis, the individual needs to binge at least two days a week for at least 6 months and feel a lack of control over what they consume.

More information about binge eating disorder:  Concerns about weight and body image People with binge eating disorder do not usually have the excessive concern with weight and appearance that people with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa have. However, many obese people with binge eating disorder are clearly concerned and self-conscious about their weight, or become so as they gain weight.  If an individual is overweight, this usually affects their self-esteem and can prevent them from engaging with others and having an active social life.  Weight gain can lead to medical issues that can have a negative impact on ones quality of living as well as their health.

Center for Growth / Binge Eating Disorder Counseling in Philadelphia 267 324 9564