Overeating or Binge eating?
It’s a challenge to separate binge eating from over-eating, but they are not the same thing. Binge eating disorder is probably on one of the least understood of the eating disorders and it’s a tricky one!
A binge can be identified by certain characteristics, a binge eater will eat a larger than “normal” amount of food in a short period, usually 2 hours or less and during a binge they will feel completely out of control. A binge can also be characterised by eating very quickly and has asociated feelings of guilt and shame. Such feelings often result in binge eaters hiding food and eating alone and in secret. A binge will continue until the person feels uncomfortably full, even sick, however binge eaters do not usually follow up with vomiting or laxative abuse.
Although not all binge eaters have an eating disorder of “clinical significance” many people feel that their eating is out of control, they may be comfort eating or constantly nibbling and picking at food. When the food is in control life can be very, very miserable.
Usually binge eaters want to be able to eat normally and not spend all their time obsessing about food, those who are obese may also want to be able to diet and lose weight.
It can be hard to find treatment for binge eating and it is a complex area for treatment but a qualified professional will be able to offer support and hope by helping the binge eater to form a new relationship with food, to examine the underlying issues and to help them to work out a healthy eating plan and new skills that will make them feel and look better and put them back in control.