What is it?
Binge eating disorder is a type of eating disorder. Eating disorders are mental health problems that cause extreme and dangerous eating behaviors. These extreme eating behaviors cause other serious health problems and sometimes death. Some eating disorders also involve extreme exercise.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, women with binge eating disorder feel out of control and eat too much (binge), at least once a week for at least three months. During binges women with binge eating disorder usually eat faster than normal, eat until they are uncomfortable, eat when they are not physically hungry, and feel embarrassed, disgusted, or depressed because of the binges. Women with this type of eating disorder may be overweight or obese.
Unlike people with anorexia or bulimia, people with binge eating disorder do not throw up their food, exercise a lot, or starve themselves. People with binge eating disorder are often overweight or obese. But not all people with binge eating disorder are overweight and being overweight does not always mean you have binge eating disorder.
Binge eating disorder affects women of all races and ethnicities. It is the most common eating disorder among Hispanic, Asian-American, and African American women.
It can be difficult to tell whether someone has binge eating disorder. Many women with binge eating disorder hide their behavior because they are embarrassed. You may have binge eating disorder if, for at least once a week over the past three months, you have binged. Symptoms include:
- Eating faster than normal
- Eating until uncomfortably full
- Eating large amounts of food when not hungry
- Eating alone because of embarrassment
- Feeling disgusted, depressed, or guilty afterward
- Other mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse.
Researchers are not sure exactly what causes binge eating disorder and other eating disorders. Researchers think that eating disorders might happen because of a combination of a person’s biology and life events. This combination includes having specific genes, a person’s biology, body image and self-esteem, social experiences, family health history, and sometimes other mental health illnesses. Studies suggest that people with binge eating disorder may use overeating as a way to deal with anger, sadness, boredom, anxiety, or stress.
How can we help?
Since negative body image and poor self-esteem are often the underlying factors at the root of bulimia, Therapeutic Greenhouse integrates therapy into a recovery process to assist you with stopping the harmful behaviors associated with binge eating and to provide coping skills. Cognitive behavioral therapy is used to decrease the importance of weight and body shape in relation to self-worth, to help you realize unhelpful thinking patterns and skills to help you change them and to improve your mood and self-esteem.
Requirements to Participate in Binge Eating Counseling:
- You are ready to receive help and to participate in care
- You are medically stable
- You are not a danger to self or others