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:
- Eating much more rapidly than normal
- Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
- Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
- Eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating
- 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:
- Are there any problems with your eating?
- Are there “binge” foods that you know will be a problem?
- Is life built around food and eating?
- Do you feel compelled to binge?
- Do you eat rapidly and continue to eat, despite feeling uncomfortable?
- Once you start eating, can you stop?
- Do you lie about the amount of food consumed?
- Do you want to eat alone?
- Do you stash food around the house, car, or desk at work?
- Do you have feelings of remorse, shame, guilt, disgust or loss of self-esteem after overeating?
- 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