Binge Eating Disorder is characterized by an often secretive cycle of binge eating.
Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by eating a large amount of food and feeling out of control while eating (e.g., a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating).
The binge eating episodes are characterized by at least 3 of the following:
- 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 being embarrassed by how much one is eating
- Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty after overeating.
- The person is distressed by his or her binge eating.
- Possible weight gain and/or obesity
- Abdominal pain; stomach upset
- Weight fluctuations due to experimentation with various diet plans
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Binge eating
- Trying numerous diet plans
- Secretive eating
- Intense food cravings
- Eating very small portions in public
Emotional and Attitudinal Characteristics
- Tendency to binge when experiencing negative emotions (e.g., anger, boredom)
- Feels of disgust, depression, and/or guilt after bingeing
- Chronic, mild depressive and/or anxiety symptoms (at times, symptoms may worsen)
- Tendency to be overly focused on other’s struggles (often in the role of “rescuer,” “peacemaker” or “people-pleaser”)
- Difficulty identifying and expressing negative emotions (e.g., anger)
- Preoccupation with body weight and shape
- Dissatisfaction with body size
- Low self-esteem; self-loathing
- Attributes failures to size & fantasizes about rewards of thinness