Binge eating disorder (BED) was not always recognized as a stand-alone eating disorder, but it became formally diagnosable in 2013 with the release of the updated Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-V), and IT IS THE MOST COMMON EATING DISORDER IN THE UNITED STATES. It is estimated that it affects 3.5% of women, 2% of men, and up to 1.6% of adolescents. BED differs from bulimia nervosa in that sufferers of BED do not typically use compensatory restricting or purging (e.g., laxatives, over-exercise, of self-induced vomiting) behaviors. BED is not just overeating past the point of feeling full. It is characterized by feeling a complete lack of control over one’s eating and eating in a very short period of time an excessive amount of food. It is dangerous and severe, and untreated, it can be life-threatening. BED can affect anyone. Prevalence surveys in the United States found that there was no difference in the rate of BED based on race, marital status, or employment status. However, those who suffer from BED often struggle with other mental health problems. Not everyone with BED is overweight, but BED does predispose to obesity. There are many effective treatments for BED, including dialectical behavioral therapy and medication. A combined, team approach is often used, involving nutritionists, psychologists or mental health counselors, and group therapy.
People with binge eating disorder may feel alone, misunderstood, and afraid. Take it from someone who knows. Fortunately, there is help.
Here is a link to the National Eating Disorders Association’s website for binge eating disorder. On this site, you will find all sorts of resources for all sorts of eating issues. If you need more information about BED or any other eating disorder or eating issue, you can find it through various links on the site. There are also listings of treatment centers, a phone helpline, and a free and confidential online screening tool if you think you might have BED or any other eating issue.
BED IS THE MOST COMMON EATING DISORDER.
WE ARE NOT ALONE!
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