Compulsive overeating, or binge eating disorder (BED), is a new eating disorder that has been included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Similar to bulimia, people with this disorder consume large amounts of food in short periods of time. The difference lies in that those who suffer from binge eating do not punish themselves afterwards: they do not resort to vomiting, laxatives or any other form of purging food.
While the individual may not necessarily be hungry, an episode occurs when the person begins to eat uncontrollably and in a rush, and cannot stop. It is most common at nighttime or at times when the person is alone and does not feel intimidated by what others may think about their behavior. After an episode, an individual experiences very negative feelings about themselves that can even lead to depression.
While many people may experience something like this, this behavior begins to be diagnosed as an eating disorder when it occurs more than once a week and lasts for more than three months.
This type of behavior needs professional support to understand that this is more than a way of treating food, it is a disorder that can not only affect your mental health but also your physical health. With timely treatment, it is possible to prevent it from becoming a more serious one such as bulimia and prevents other common consequences from occurring such as becoming overweight, high blood pressure or cardiovascular diseases.
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