Binge Eating Disorder

What it means to suffer from Binge Eating Disorder


Binge-Eating disorder has consequences both on body weight and on the psychological level. The disorder may stem from difficulties in managing one's emotions and low self-esteem.


In practice

How to understand if the symptoms presented are related to binge eating disorder?

(from: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5-TR), American Psychiatric Association (2022).

Recurrent binge eating episodes

associated with peculiar feelings and behaviors such as consuming large amounts of food rapidly until feeling uncomfortably full and a sense of loss of control.

Marked distress related to binge eating

Individuals often experience disgust towards themselves and embarrassment, which is why these episodes are often kept hidden.

Absence of compensatory behaviors

In case these were present instead, it would be called Bulimia Nervosa.

Case study:

Monica is a 43-year-old kindergarten teacher. Although she is generally satisfied with her life, there is a constant concern about food, body shape, and weight. This concern makes her feel depressed and alone, despite having two children and several friends. Often, therefore, she finds herself snacking between meals, and a couple of times a week Monica loses control and eats large quantities of food (binge eating) well beyond what she would like. Monica does it in secret, feeling a lot of shame and guilt, she eats even when she is not hungry and until she feels unpleasantly full. This situation creates a lot of anguish for her, also because all efforts to stop binge eating on her own have so far failed. Among these attempts, Monica has been trying to follow restrictive diets that are difficult to follow for a long time, which she often interrupts due to the recurrence of binge eating. She has never talked about these problems with her family and friends, except for one friend who has the same difficulties.

(from Mond et al., 2011)