People with Binge eating/compulsive eating disorder experience a loss of control and eat large quantities of food in short space of time on a regular basis this is called a binge. At these times a person is unable to control this behaviour and it is not as often misconceived a pleasurable experience. A person may often plan a binge and may even buy special foods to have as a part of the cycle, where people can feel disconnected from the process and even “zone out” while in the binge. The binge is usually done privately, and feelings of disgust, guilt and shame often arise after. Binge eating disorder difference from bulimia as people do not purge after a binge, although sufferers often fast or embark on yet another diet.

A person does not have to be hungry to binge and may feel physical discomfort after a binge as well as the emotional lows. These binges are often a distraction for a person and this distraction keeps their focus away from other problems they struggle to address. The condition affects both men and women and affects adults more than children.

Behaviours associated with BED are: Eating large amounts of food in one go, Eating alone, have intense cravings for sugar, Secretive behaviour relating to food, Erratic behaviour (e.g. shoplifting food or spending large amounts of money on food), use food to escape your worries, You eat sensibly in public but on your own it goes out of control, You have mood swings, often for no reason, Hiding food

Physical consequences may include: Diabetes or insulin resistance, poor thyroid function, obesity, High blood pressure, High cholesterol, Chronic kidney problems or kidney failure, Bedsores, Feelings of extreme distress, sadness, anxiety and guilt during and after a binge episode, Osteoarthritis, Sleep Apnoea

Psychologically a person may be preoccupied with their weight and size, Experience body dissatisfaction and shame about their appearance/body shape, suffer Agoraphobia (don’t want to leave the house), have low self-esteem, depression, anxiety.

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