Bulimia vs Binge Eating Disorder
Here in America, tens of millions of people will suffer from an eating disorder at some point over the course of their lives. These are a severe set of illnesses that can affect people mentally, physically, and perhaps even become life-threatening. Additionally, these illnesses do not discriminate: anyone can develop them regardless of their age, gender, or background.
People who suffer from Bulimia nervosa display cyclical hallmark behaviors that include:
- Episodes of binge eating, in which a person will feel out of control as he or she consumes a large amount of food over a short period of time.
- Purging, in which someone engages in compensatory behaviors such as forcing oneself to throw up or misusing laxatives, enemas, and/or diuretics in an effort to “undo” the effects of the previous binge eating episode.
Binge Eating Disorder
Here in the United States, Binge eating disorder is in fact the most common eating disorder. And as of 2013, binge eating disorder became one of the newest eating disorders to be recognised in the DSM 5. This is a major step in the right direction, as many insurance companies refuse to cover treatment for an eating disorder without an official DSM 5 diagnosis.
Binge eating disorder is characterized by:
- Recurring binge eating episodes in which someone feels out of control and eats large amounts of food over a relatively short period of time; they may also eat until they feel uncomfortable, and experience guilt, shame, or distress in the wake of such an episode.
What is the Difference Between Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorder?
An important distinction between bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder is that those suffering from binge eating disorder do not regularly engage in unhealthy, potentially dangerous compensatory measures in an effort to “cancel out” the effects of an eating binge. On the other hand, those suffering from bulimia nervosa do.
Where to Find Help
There are many ways you can find help if you or a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder such as bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder. And if you are in a crisis you can text “NEDA” to 741-741 to be put in touch with a trained volunteer.
You could reach out to an eating disorder hotline, or contact an eating disorder treatment center near you. In terms of eating disorder helplines, the National Eating Disorders Association offers a few different ways to get in touch with one:
- Via texting: a representative is available Mondays through Thursdays, from 3:00 PM until 6:00 PM Eastern Time.
- Via phone call: you can talk to someone on the phone Mondays through Thursdays between 11:00 AM and 9:00 PM Eastern Time, or on Fridays between 11:00 AM and 5:00 PM Eastern Time.
- Via instant messaging: you can chat with someone online between 9:00 AM and 9:00 PM Eastern Time on Mondays through Thursdays, and on Fridays from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM.