Binge eating disorder (BED) is characterised by recurring episodes of excessive consumption of large portions of food in short intervals. The individual experiences feelings of guilt, shame and distress over the lack of control over their eating behaviour.
Not all ‘indulgent eating episodes’ are a sign of an ‘eating disorder’
There is a clear distinction between binge eating disorder and random binge eating sessions. Psychiatrist Dr Sagar Mundada shares, “Recurring binge eating episodes can be classified as an eating disorder when it compromises an individual’s capacity to function on a day-to-day basis. The emotional dependency on food as a coping mechanism also takes a toll negatively on their emotions. As a result, the individual loses any control over their feeding habits. It can also result in excessive weight gain, which can be problematic as it becomes an addiction.”
Signs that indicate you are struggling with a binge eating disorder
- Eating large portions of food in short intervals, and experiencing an inability or lack of control over your feeding habits.
- It’s not about feeling full but is more about a way to cope with stress.
- Eating until you reach a level of discomfort and are uncomfortably full.
- Feeling guilt, shame and depression about not being in control about your feeding habits.
- Excessive weight gain due to these recurring binge eating episodes, which are taking a toll on you physically, emotionally and mentally.
How to fix it
For many people binge eating is a coping mechanism to deal with stress. Once diagnosed as an eating disorder, mental health experts use a combination of medication and counselling to treat patients. If the impulse to overeat is too strong, a mental health expert is likely to also use mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy to help the patient. The emotional triggers, stressors and negative emotions that leads to binge eating behaviour are explained. All of the above help eventually to curb this tendency of indulgent eating to cope with stress.