How Do I Know if it’s Binge Eating Disorder?

 

Hey There Beacon Buds Old and New!

Lately at Beacon we have been receiving tons of inquiries on how to discern whether one has Binge Eating Disorder or not.

First off- great question and please keep them coming our way!  Secondly (and unfortunately) there is no quick answer to this question. 

Allow us to explain…

Binge Eating Disorder has been recently included in the DSM-5 with a set of clear criteria for diagnostic purposes.  While the majority of mental health and medical conditions are clearly defined, it is helpful to understand such criteria as guiding principles for assessment and diagnosis rather than entirely fixed standards.  We reinforce this notion as many individuals with eating related issues do not fit neatly into existing criteria – yet do experience clinically significant distress that interferes with their daily living and functioning.  Ultimately, viewing and understanding the Diagnostic Criteria for Binge Eating Disorder as guidelines rather than fixed standards, ensures that those experiencing significant distress qualify and receive the treatment they deserve!

With that said, we will list the criteria for Binge Eating Disorder as indicated in the DSM-5:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:
    • eating, in a discrete period of time (for example, within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances

    • a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (for example, a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating)

  • The binge-eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:

    • eating much more rapidly than normal

    • eating until feeling uncomfortably full 

    • eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry 

    • eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating

    • feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty afterwards

  • Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.

  • The binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for three months.

  • The binge eating is not associated with the recurrent use of inappropriate compensatory behavior (for example, purging) and does not occur

    As we indicated earlier, you might experience slight variations of Binge Eating Disorder Symptomology, however this should not disqualify you from the treatment you need and deserve.  Finally, it is always best practice to check in with a professional who understands your unique needs and the proper course of treatment indicated for Binge Eating Disorder.

    As always, check in with the Beacon Team with any additional question or concerns.

    Until next time!

    The Beacon Team