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It's unclear what causes binge eating disorder.
Like other eating disorders, BED is probably caused by a combination of genetic, psychological, and social factors.
Some risk factors for binge eating disorder include:
- A history of anxiety or depression
- A history of dieting (especially in unhealthy ways, such as skipping meals or not eating enough food each day)
- Painful childhood experiences, such as family problems
Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder
People with binge eating disorder have frequent bingeing episodes, typically at least once a week over the course of three months or more.
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 you're not feeling hungry
- Eating alone, because you feel embarrassed about how much you're eating
- Feeling extremely disgusted, depressed, or guilty after eating
Some people also display behavioral, emotional, or physical characteristics, such as:
- Secretive food behaviors, including hoarding, hiding, or stealing food
- Feelings of anger, anxiety, worthlessness, or shame preceding a binge
- Feeling disgusted with your body size
- A strong need to be in control, or perfectionist tendencies
Binge Eating Disorder Treatment
If you have binge eating disorder, you should seek help from a specialist in eating disorders, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist.
There are several treatments available for BED. Treatment options may include: