Understanding Eating Disorders Part 3

Understanding Eating Disorders Part 3

The final eating disorder we will discuss in this series is called Binge-Eating Disorder. Like bulimia, this disorder is characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating, however, it is not followed by inappropriate compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting or excessive exercise. The DSM-V also states that three or more of the following must be met in order to be diagnosed with binge-eating disorder:

  1. Eating much more rapidly than normal
  2. Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
  3. Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
  4. Eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating
  5. Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty afterward

Distress regarding binge eating must be present, and the episodes must occur on average at least once a week for 3 months. As with anorexia and bulimia, the DSM-V specifies the severity (from mild to extreme) of the disorder based on the number of binge-eating episodes per week.

The National Association for Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (www.anad.org) suggests the following questions one can ask to determine if they meet the criteria for a binge-eating disorder diagnosis:

  1. Are there any problems with your eating?
  2. Are there “binge” foods that you know will be a problem?
  3. Is life built around food and eating?
  4. Do you feel compelled to binge?
  5. Do you eat rapidly and continue to eat, despite feeling uncomfortable?
  6. Once you start eating, can you stop?
  7. Do you lie about the amount of food consumed?
  8. Do you want to eat alone?
  9. Do you stash food around the house, car, or desk at work?
  10. Do you have feelings of remorse, shame, guilt, disgust or loss of self-esteem after overeating?
  11. Do you zone out during overeating?

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association.

National Association for Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (2015). Retrieved from: www.aand.org


Maggie Futch, Intern

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