​Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder is a mental condition which can be life-threatening but is also treatable, with options available to help those in need.

Binge eating occurs when one is constantly and compulsively overeating or consuming abnormal amounts of food uncontrollably and finding it difficult to stop. Anyone of any background, age or gender can be affected by this disorder.

Binge eating disorder can be a vicious, ongoing cycle, in which the sufferer repeatedly uses food to cope with anxiety, feelings of disgust and guilt. Binge eating disorder can occur in people of normal weight and often leads to unwanted weight gain and obesity, which further contributes to the binge cycle.

Symptoms of binge eating are often disguised due to embarrassment, but some signs to look out for could include:
  • Continually eating when not hungry or uncomfortably full
  • Inability to stop eating or control what is eaten
  • Hoarding food to consume secretly later
  • Eating normally in front of others but ravenously when alone
  • Experiencing feelings of stress or anxiety that can only be relieved by eating
  • Feelings of numbness while bingeing and shame or disgust after
  • Never experiencing the state of being satisfied
  • Mood swings
Factors that may influence binge eating disorder include biological factors, such as: hormonal irregularities and genetic anomalies; psychological factors, such as: depression, body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem and difficulty coping with feelings; and social and cultural factors, such as: trauma, abuse and body-shaming.

Beating binge eating disorder is possible through treatment and support from psychiatrists, nutritionists and therapists. Therapies which focus on identifying and understanding underlying reasons for binge eating, as well as those that help individuals focus on relationships with family members and peers and the way they see themselves and establishing coping mechanisms can all prove to be very effective with treatment.

Self-help and support groups can be useful to both sufferers and their families throughout treatment and in sustaining recovery. Visit www.sadag.org for help and more information.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided by the SPAR Group Ltd for general information purposes only. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.