This is the last of the “big three” of eating disorders. Binge eating is the opposite of anorexia. Where anorexia is self-starvation, binge eating is the disorder that describes someone who is both psychologically and emotionally unable to control their eating habits. It is important to remember that this is not obesity, obesity is a medical illness and not a mental health issue. When someone engages in binge eating it is called an “episode.” For most people who experience binge eating, they experience an episode at least once a week.
According to Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, the criteria for a diagnosis of Binge Eating Disorder is:
- Loss of control over amount of eating
- Marked distress over binge episode
- Occurs at least once per week for 3 months
And, THREE or more of the following:
- Eating more rapidly than normal
- Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
- Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
- Eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating
- Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed or very guilty after overeating
What makes binge eating such a hard problem to face is that it can easily be hidden from friends and families. If you suspect someone suffers from BED make sure to ask them some questions in order to check-in. If you feel like someone is make sure to support them through the process and get medical help.
~Be mindful of the mind