How to detect binge eating disorder : When we talk about eating disorders (also known as eating disorders), words like “anorexia” and “bulimia” often come to mind.
However, although these are possibly the main representatives of this group of psychopathologies, in the sense that they are part of popular culture, there are others no less important. Among them is binge eating disorder.
This is one of the most frequent eating disorders, affecting around 2% of adults, being a little more common in women. In this article We will see what its characteristics are and what warning signs are those that allow us to detect this psychopathology.
How to detect binge eating disorder : What is Binge Eating Disorder?
Binge eating disorder is a psychopathology very similar to bulimia in several ways. In both phenomena there is a propensity to feeling the urge to binge on food, becoming, in the medium and long term, a problem that severely affects not only mental health, but also physical health.
In addition, in both cases we speak of a tendency to eat not because of hunger or a physiological or metabolic imbalance that makes it necessary to receive nutrients quickly. That is, there is a psychological alteration.
The fundamental difference between binge eating disorder and bulimia is that in the latter, purging behaviors (for example, inducing vomiting or exercising) occur as a compulsion after binge eating to try to somehow compensate for the intake of food and consequent calories, whereas in binge eating disorder this does not occur.
On the other hand, binge eating disorder is associated with many other pathologiessuch as obesity or major depression.
How to detect binge eating disorder : Symptoms and warning signs to detect this disorder
These are the red flags that help detect cases of binge eating disorder. However, remember that the definitive diagnosis can only be made by mental health professionals, and that not all of these events have to occur at the same time and on all occasions.
1. The person binges without being hungry
People with binge eating disorder they tend to eat a lot and very fast, not because of hunger, but when they feel bad due to psychological causes (For example, when an embarrassing memory comes to mind or when they feel stressed about a test that they must take soon).
2. Eat so much and so fast that the intake causes discomfort
Binge eating disorder goes hand in hand with a difficulty determining how much food is enough, and the person is limited to binge eating in which the food is eaten quickly, so that you often feel bad about ending up on an overly full stomach.
3. Binges are planned
Although binge eating itself often occurs spontaneously and unplanned, people who have developed binge eating disorder do. plan to create an environment where lots of food can be accessed quickly.
That means, for example, that they make sure to have a well-stocked fridge and / or pantry at all times, this being a more important concern than it is for the average person.
4. Binge eating occurs on a weekly or daily basis
The degree of intensity or severity that binge eating disorder can reach ranges from mild cases (one to three binges per week) to extreme cases (with more than a dozen binges per week).
5. Altered states of consciousness during bingeing
It is not unusual for the person to feel groggy during binge eating and focus solely on the act of eating and savoring, and that shortly after eating these foods, you do not remember what you have eaten.
6. Feelings of guilt after ingestion
It is common for people with binge eating disorder to feel bad about themselves because they have binged; however, as we have seen, this guilt does not translate into purging behaviors as it does with bulimia.
How to detect binge eating disorder : What can be done about this psychopathology?
Luckily, binge eating disorder can be treated, and those who develop this psychopathology and attend therapy have a good chance of overcoming it in a matter of a few months.
It is a process in which both medical and nutrition professionals and psychologists must participate; It should not be forgotten that this disorder goes beyond the functioning of the body in a biological sense, and is maintained through learned behavior patterns that can be eliminated or modified through psychotherapy.
Thus, intervening both from medicine and from psychology, it intervenes through the double path of changes at the organic level and at the behavioral level and of mental processes, so that the changes for the better are consolidated and maintained over time.
How to detect binge eating disorder : Are you looking for psychological assistance?
If you are interested in having support for problems related to mental health and emotional well-being, please contact us. In Psychology and Psychotherapy Miguel Ángel We have more than 30 years of experience in the field of psychotherapy and we serve both people of all ages individually and in couples therapy and family therapy sessions. You can count on us both in our psychology center located in Bilbao and through our online therapy service.