What is binge-eating disorder?
In binge-eating disorder, sufferers frequently eat an unusually large amount of food in one sitting. During a binge, the person typically feels out of control, eating very quickly and until they are uncomfortably full. Unlike in bulimia, binge-eating is not followed by purging. And unlike compulsive eating disorder, in which eating brings a sense of calm or relief, people with binge-eating disorder feel disgusted, depressed, and guilty after over-eating.
Due to the shame they feel around eating, binge-eaters most often prefer to eat alone.
Signs and symptoms of binge-eating disorder
Binge-eating is often done in secret, so detection is often difficult.
Early signs and symptoms may include:
- Food inexplicably disappearing from the kitchen
- Eating very quickly, often seeming to not even appreciate or enjoy the food
- Social isolation and avoidance of events involving food
- Lingering at the table after a meal, picking at food or appearing unusually preoccupied with finding something else to eat
- Food remnants are found hidden in the person’s closet or bedroom
- Weight gain or obesity
- Depression and anxiety
(Note: Although boys and men also develop eating disorders, the majority of victims are female. We will use the female pronouns “she” and “her” consistently throughout this website.)
(Photo Credit: d2cool on Flickr)