Binge Eating Disorder Versus Overeating: How Do I Know the Difference?

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Binge eating disorder is in fact one of the most common eating disorders that individuals struggle with across the United States, however many common misconceptions continue to circulate about this eating disorder.

It is easy to pass off binge eating disorder as nothing more than a lack of self-control or a tendency to overindulge here and there, but the reality of this eating disorder is much more severe.

Binge Eating Disorder Versus Overeating

Binge eating disorder is a psychiatric illness that is influenced by several factors, many components that may be out of a person’s control, such as genetics and biological predispositions. A person with binge eating disorder may also have a co-occurring mental illness that has not adequately been addressed, such as an anxiety or mood disorder.

Unresolved trauma can also contribute to binge eating as well. While many individuals may have the tendency to overeat periodically, a person with binge eating typically experiences a uncontrolled desire to eat beyond a point of fullness that cannot easily be stopped, often leaving the sufferer feeling out of control.

Men and women who struggle with binge eating disorder will often have recurring episodes of binging, eat much more rapidly than normal, and experience a sense of depression, guilt, and/or disgust after eating.

Unlike overeating that may tend to happen periodically, a person who binge eats may purposefully isolate himself or herself or seclude themselves from loved ones in order to engage in binge eating episodes. This often leads to increased isolation and the avoidance of certain social events and circles.

Seeking Out Professional Help and Treatment Is Crucial

If you can identify with any of the above signs and symptoms of binge eating disorder, it is crucial to seek out professional help for treatment and recovery. Many individuals who struggle with binge eating will often postpone seeking help because of the shame they might be experiencing.

Binge eating disorder is not something that usually can resolve on its own accord, and in order to get the necessary help you need, it is essential to integrate specialized professionals into comprehensive treatment. Talk to someone you trust today to get the help you need for binge eating disorder!

Crystal Headshot 2About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on February 18, 2016
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