Characteristics of binge eating may include eating much faster than usual, eating before feeling full and uncomfortable, eating large amounts of food when the body is not hungry, eating alone due to embarrassment about the amount eaten, and feeling disgusted. Shame or guilt during or after drinking. During these episodes, the person can feel out of control over their eating and may not be able to stop even if they want to. People with BED can eat a lot of food in a short period of time, even if they are not hungry. During periods of overeating, they often eat faster than usual, eat until they feel uncomfortable, eat when they are not physically hungry, and feel embarrassed, disgusted, or frustrated with overeating.
Because people often feel guilty or embarrassed about eating out of control, many do not talk about it or seek help. Some people use food as a way to calm down or deal with difficult feelings. People may go to great lengths to gain access to food, such as eating food that is discarded or does not belong to them. Some avid eaters may hide their food in unfamiliar places or even steal food from others.
Some avid eaters claim they are forced to eat as if it were a craving that cannot be ignored. The sensations experienced by binge eaters during and after overeating range from intense pleasure to disgust. In general, people who binge tend to eat more often than those who experience occasional bouts of binge eating. Unlike people with anorexia or bulimia, people with binge eating do not vomit food, exercise little, and do not go hungry.
People with BED consistently eat large amounts of food in one sitting (called binge eating) and feel they have no control over their eating behavior. In addition to eating in excess and to the point of discomfort, this condition is also characterized by feelings of being out of control while eating and feeling ashamed or guilty about such behavior.
Some other disorders that commonly occur in association with BED include impulse control disorders and substance use disorders. People with BED usually have other comorbidities such as major depressive disorder, personality disorder, bipolar disorder, substance abuse, body dysmorphic disorder, kleptomania, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, or anxiety disorder. Nearly 80% of people with BED have at least one other psychological disorder, such as phobias, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, anxiety, or substance abuse.
Compulsive overeating is a serious psychological illness that greatly interferes with health and happiness. Compulsive overeating can also be called emotional overeating, compulsive overeating, or food addiction. People usually develop them as a way to deal with a deeper problem or other psychological condition such as anxiety or depression. Binge eating episodes classified as binge eating can have a significant and negative impact on health and well-being, so it’s especially important to recognize the signs and symptoms of binge eating and seek help if needed.
While repetitive binge eating can eventually lead to weight gain, this disorder is not directly related to weight—you don’t have to be overweight to have it. Approximately 1.25% of adult women and 0.42% of adult men suffer from binge eating disorder. Approximately 1.6% of adolescents aged 13-18 suffer from binge eating. A much higher percentage of adolescents and adults experience binge eating episodes or loss of control. Overeating is the feeling that you have no control over your eating, no matter how much food you actually eat, but at a rate not often enough to meet the criteria for binge eating. A binge episode is characterized by eating more food in a given period of time (eg, within two hours) than most people would eat in the same period of time under similar circumstances, and by feeling out of control while eating (eg, feeling like you’re not you can stop eating or control how much you eat).
During a binge eating episode, a person feels unable to stop eating, and this is often associated with intense distress. People often describe feeling “out of their element”, not being aware of the amount of food they have eaten and not being able to stop eating. Disturbances in habitual eating behavior, attempts to avoid eating in public places, and disappearance of large amounts of food or empty wrappers and containers in the home are also signs of CEC. SES is an eating disorder in which the affected person wakes up multiple times in the middle of the night and cannot go back to sleep without eating, even if they are not actually hungry.
Binge eating disorder (BED) is an eating disorder characterized by frequent and recurrent episodes of binge eating with associated negative psychological and social problems, but without the binge eating and Compensatory behavior of clearing subtypes. Individuals diagnosed with bulimia nervosa and binge eating exhibit similar binge eating patterns, cognitive control dysfunction, and neurobiological features of food addiction, as well as biological and environmental risk factors.
Binge eating disorder is common in people with type 1 and type 2, 3, and 4 diabetes. The reason for this association may be anxiety about diabetes, which requires constant attention to weight and diet control. People with binge eating habits may also restrict their diet or set certain eating habits – which can also lead to overeating due to hunger and feelings of deprivation. Sometimes binge eating can also be habitual or planned rather than triggered by a sudden desire, and it can also be due to a variety of reasons, such as emotional dullness, overcoming unpleasant feelings, or opportunities that arise when one is alone . For example, someone may break the dietary rules by eating and feel full or very hungry.
BED is not a choice of large portions, nor are sufferers just “indulgent” – overeating is far from fun, it is very painful, often involving much more food than one would like to eat. Many people with BED will testify to the loss of control they often experience during binge episodes, feeling unconscious as they engage in binge eating that pushes them beyond their normal satiety point.