Eating disorders are very common in our society, and one of them is binge eating. This disorder causes one to frequently consume an unusually large amount of food. While this may sound innocuous, binge eating is a serious malady.
Most of us tend to overeat during festive seasons, such as during a holiday or the celebration of an event. But for people with binge eating disorders, the overeating is pathological, and it occurs regularly.
Most often, binge eating episodes are done in secrecy. People who tend to binge eat always feel guilty about the excessive food consumption, and they are too embarrassed to tell anyone about it. Despite making promises to stop this type of eating, the behavior is usually out of control.
Binge eating disorders are like strong compulsions that cannot be resisted. Binge eating is more common than anorexia or bulimia, but it has only recently been classified as a distinct mental health disorder.
In order for someone to be diagnosed with the disorder, certain criteria must be fulfilled, including:
1. Eating much faster than others
2. Eating until one feels extremely uncomfortable
3. Eating large amounts of food, even when one isn't hungry
4. Eating alone because of self-consciousness caused by how much one is eating
5. Feeling sickened with oneself, unhappy, or very guilty afterwards.
People who binge eat may have these episodes at least once per week for several months. Unlike bulimia, binge eating is not associated with the use of laxatives or self-induced vomiting. Individuals also tend to have depression, anxiety and frequently eat alone. The overwhelming feeling is one of disgust, and usually the person vows to lose weight. Unfortunately, any attempt to limit food intake often leads to more eating.
Most people have no obvious signs or symptoms of binge eating disorders, and this behavior is often first noticed by the family indirectly due to a lack of food in the home.
Most individuals with binge eating disorders are afraid to go to the doctor because of embarrassment. Usually, it is the family who encourages the individual to seek help.