Ph: (01) 839 6147 l Director of Services - 0876539747  l   info@loisbridges.ie

Binge Eating Disorder vs Basic Overeating, what is the difference? Overeating can be a normal tendency for many individuals, such as having an extra helping at a meal even when already full or eating beyond satiety at a special holiday meal or celebratory occasion.

But, where is the line drawn between overeating and Binge Eating?  It is important to make a distinction between overeating and binge eating, as Binge Eating Disorder is in fact a separate entity and diagnosable eating disorder, not just an occasional happening or symptom.

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Binge Eating Disorder is defined as recurring episodes of eating significantly more food in a short period of time than most people would eat under similar circumstances, with episodes marked by feelings of lack of control.

Further, men and women who struggle with binge eating typically experience feelings of disgust, guilt, or embarrassment and binge eat in isolation to conceal the behaviour.

While overeating may occur periodically in a person without this disorder, an individual with Binge Eating Disorder has recurrent episodes of bingeing without purging, often leading to both emotional and physical distress.

What criteria are used for the diagnosis of Binge Eating Disorder? The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5), using the follow to diagnose binge eating disorder, separating it from other eating disorders [2]:

  • Marked distress over bingeing episodes
  • Loss of control over amount of eating
  • Episodes that occur at least 1x per week for 3 months

In addition, three or more of the following symptoms must also occur for BED diagnosis:

  • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
  • Eating more rapidly than normal (i.e. two hour period)
  • Feeling depressed, guilty, or disgusted with oneself after overeating
  • Eating alone because of embarrassment associated with how much one is eating
  • Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry

Binge eating is actually more common than Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa. Though this eating disorder is prevalent in our country, it can easily go undetected from loved ones and even health professionals if the right questions are not asked.

Binge eating disorder may also go unnoticed and untreated often because of the confusion about the disorder or the shame/embarrassment that someone struggling with this disorder may feel.

Binge eating disorder is a psychiatric disorder that can be successfully treated if appropriate help is sought.  Thousands of people are suffering with this eating disorder across the country, and understanding the criteria that sets this disorder apart from overeating and obesity can help raise greater awareness of the severity of binge eating.

So, Binge Eating Disorder vs Basic Overeating, if you are unsure if you or a loved one might meet the criteria for Binge Eating Disorder, seek the necessary help you may need to determine this.

Talking to a loved one or your trusted GP can be an invaluable part of this process, as they can appropriately help you arrange an assessment of the symptoms that may be experienced to make a diagnosis.  Early detection can be instrumental in the recovery and treatment for any individual who might be struggling with binge eating disorder.

At Lois Bridges, we are committed to delivering expert, personalised eating disorder treatment that results in the most positive outcomes for each and every one of our clients. We use a range of outcome metrics to measure our patients’ satisfaction and progress, and ask every person who uses our services to let us know how they found their treatment experience and if there is anything that we can improve upon.

Lois Bridges also believes that the best outcomes are achieved by using the highest quality facilities, and through the dedication of our highly skilled and experienced staff.

For details of how Lois Bridges can provide you with assistance regarding eating disorder treatment, please call (01) 839 6147 or click here 

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