Behaviors Associated with Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder found in the United States. Hallmarks of the illness include:
- Recurrent episodes in which someone binge eats. A binge eating episode is characterized by someone consuming a large amount of food over a short period of time as they feel out of control.
- In the aftermath of a binge eating episode, it is likely that someone will experience emotions such as shame, guilt, or perhaps even distress
This disorder can come with several different health risks, some of which may even be life-threatening emergencies. This emphasizes the importance of early intervention and finding the best-suited treatment program, which may start with looking out for potential signs that someone is suffering from this illness.
Emotional Signs and Behaviors Related to Binge Eating Disorder
Emotional signs and behaviors that might be linked to binge eating disorder include:
- A fear of eating in public
- Evidence of binge eating, such as the presence of many food containers and wrappers or the disappearance of significant amounts of food over relatively short periods of time
- Frequent dieting
- Expressing low self-esteem
- The creation of a lifestyle or other rituals to allow time to binge eat
- Any new food practices or diets, such as cutting out whole food groups or picking up veganism or vegetarianism
- Stealing food
- Hoarding food in odd places
- The development of food rituals, such as excessive chewing or not allowing foods to touch
- Disrupted eating behaviors, such as not having planned mealtimes and eating throughout the day, skipping meals, sporadic fasting, repetitive dieting, or taking small portions at “regular” meals
- Feeling depressed, guilty, or disgusted after overeating
- Eating alone, perhaps out of embarrassment over how much food one is eating
- Social withdrawal
- Withdrawal from usual activities
- Frequently looking in the mirror for perceived appearance flaws
- Expressing major concern with one’s shape and body weight
- Having secret, recurrent binge eating episodes in which one feels out of control
Physical Signs of Binge Eating Disorder
There are also some physical signs that may suggest someone is suffering from binge eating disorder, such as:
- Having a hard time concentrating
- Stomach cramps
- Other non-specified gastrointestinal issues such as acid reflux and constipation
- Noticeable weight fluctuations
While binge eating disorder can indeed cause serious damage to the body and even be life-threatening, it is a treatable illness. If you are looking for recovery groups in New York City or elsewhere in the United States, you can find resources at this link. You can also find support by contacting an eating disorder hotline. However, if you find yourself in a time of crisis, you can text “NEDA” to 741-741 at any time to be put in contact with someone trained to handle the situation. Additionally, we are here to help you at Eating Disorder Recovery Specialists. You may contact us via phone (866-525-2766), email, or by filling out our contact form.
It is important to remember that no two eating disorder recovery journeys will necessarily look the same. Everyone’s situation is different and while some treatment routes may work for some, they will not work so well for others.