How to detect binge eating disorder? 6 warning signs

When we talk about eating disorders (also called eating disorders) words like “anorexia” and “bulimia” often come to mind.

However, although they are perhaps the main representatives of this group of psychopathologies, in that they are part of popular culture, there are others no less important. Among them is binge eating disorder.

It is one of the most common eating disorders, and affects about 2% of adults, being slightly more common in women. In this article we will see what are its characteristics and what are the warning signs that allow us to detect this psychopathology.

    What is binge eating?

    Binge eating is a psychopathology very similar to bulimia in several ways. In both phenomena, there is a propensity to feel the need to give them lots of foodBecome, in the medium and long term, a problem that seriously affects not only mental health but also physical health. In addition, in both cases we are talking about a tendency not to eat for appetite or a physiological or metabolic imbalance that requires rapid receipt of nutrients. In other words, there is a psychological disorder.

    The fundamental difference between binge eating and binge eating is that in the latter case there are purging behaviors (for example, inducing vomiting or exercising) as a compulsion after having a binge. food to try. binge eating disorder, this does not happen.

    On the other hand, binge eating disorder is associated with many other pathologies, Such as obesity or major depression.

    Symptoms and warning signs to detect this disorder

    These are the warning signs that help detect cases of binge eating. Remember, however, that the definitive diagnosis can only be made by mental health professionals, and not all of these events need to happen at the same time and on all occasions.

    1. The person is bored without being hungry

    People with binge eating disorder they tend to eat very, very quickly not because of hunger, but when they feel bad for psychological reasons (For example, when a memory comes to his mind that makes him ashamed or when he feels stressed about a test he has to do soon).

    2. Eat so much and so quickly that ingestion causes discomfort

    Binge eating goes hand in hand with difficulty determining how much food is sufficient, and the person simply indulges in binge eating in which food is ingested quickly, so it is often unpleasant to end up with an overly full stomach.

      3. It is expected to overeat

      While binge eating disorders usually occur spontaneously and unplanned, people who have developed binge eating disorder they plan to create an environment in which it is possible to access food very quickly.

      This means, for example, that they make sure they have a well-stocked refrigerator and / or pantry at all times, which is more of a concern than the average person.

      4. Overeating occurs frequently on a weekly or daily basis

      The degree of intensity or severity that can lead to binge eating ranges from mild cases (one to three attacks per week) to extreme cases (with more than a dozen binge eating attacks per week).

      5. Changes in states of consciousness during binge eating

      It is not uncommon for people to feel dizzy during binge eating and focus only on the act of eating and savoring, and that shortly after ingesting these foods, he does not remember what he ate.

      6. Feelings of guilt after ingestion

      It is common for people with binge eating disorder to feel bad about themselves because they have been given some type of food; but, as we have seen, this guilt does not translate into purging behaviors as it does with bulimia.

      What can be done about this psychopathology?

      Fortunately, binge eating disorder can be treated, and those who develop this psychopathology and go to therapy have a good chance of overcoming it within a few months.

      It is a process in which medical and nutritional professionals and psychologists must participate; It should be remembered that this disorder goes beyond the functioning of the body in a biological sense and is maintained through learned patterns of behavior that can be eliminated or changed by psychotherapy. Thus, intervening at the same time of medicine and psychology, it intervenes in two ways through changes at the organic level and at the level of behavior and mental processes, so that the changes for the better are consolidated and maintained in the time.

      Are you looking for psychological assistance?

      If you would like support for mental health and emotional well-being issues, please contact us. Fr Psychology and psychotherapy Miguel Ángel we have over 30 years of experience in the field of psychotherapy and serve people of all ages individually and in couples and family therapy. You can count on us both in our psychology center located in Bilbao and through our online therapy service.

      Bibliographical references:

      • American Psychiatric Association -APA- (2014). DSM-5. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Madrid: Panamericana.
      • Fairburn, C. (2013). Overcoming Excessive Food Consumption: The Proven Program for Learning Why You Move and How to Stop. New York: Guilford Publications.
      • Mazzeo, SE; Bulik, CM (2009). Environmental and genetic risk factors for eating disorders: what the doctor needs to know. Psychiatric clinics for children and adolescents in North America. 18 (1): pages 67 to 82.
      • Soutullo Esperón, C. (2010). Manual of child and adolescent psychiatry. Madrid: Medica Panamericana.

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