If you find yourself regularly eating more than you intended, or if binge eating has become a routine response to stress, it may be time to take a closer look at the behavior. What started as a habit of overeating might have developed into a Binge Eating Disorder.
This type of Eating Disorder can feel embarrassing and isolating, but don’t let shame keep you from getting help; recovery is truly possible with professional guidance and treatment from a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. But how do you know if you’re simply overeating or if you have a Binge Eating Disorder? In this blog post, we’ll explore what this disorder looks like, how it affects your life, and how you can find the help you need to regain control over your eating behaviors.
Causes and Risk Factors of Binge Eating Disorder
Binge Eating Disorder is a serious and complex condition, and it is important to understand the risks and contributing factors associated with it. Genetics can play a role, as individuals with a family history of Binge Eating Disorder are more likely to develop one themselves. Socio-cultural influences such as diet trends, warped body images, and stress levels may also play into a person’s development of this disorder.
Certain family dynamics or traumatic life events can increase the likelihood of Binge Eating Disorder. For example, you might use binge eating as a maladaptive coping technique after experiencing abuse or the death of a loved one. While this behavior might provide short-term comfort, it can turn into a serious issue and lead to the development of an Eating Disorder.
Finally, various Mental Health Conditions, such as Anxiety, Depression, or Bipolar Disorder, are risk factors for Binge Eating Disorder because of the way they negatively impact self-image and feelings of self-worth.
Warning Signs of Binge Eating Disorder
Recognizing the warning signs of a Binge Eating Disorder is an important step in getting the help you or your loved one may need. Many of the warning signs revolve around eating habits. These symptoms include eating unusually large amounts of food in one sitting, continuing to eat even when you’re full, eating quickly in short periods of time, or trying to secretly eat alone.
However, there are other behavioral or emotional symptoms to watch out for. These might include avoiding social situations related to food or feeling ashamed of your eating habits. Many individuals with Binge Eating Disorders also frequently attempt diets, though they might not experience any weight loss.
Overeating vs. Binge Eating Disorder
How do you tell the difference between overeating and Binge Eating Disorder? Generally speaking, overeating is a one-off occurrence, while Binge Eating Disorder is a lasting behavior that leads to serious consequences.
You might overeat when you feel stressed, when you’re celebrating with friends, or when you’re attending special events. While these instances might lead to mild discomfort or regret the next day, they don’t necessarily indicate an issue with food. On the other hand, Binge Eating Disorder is the result of recurrent episodes without the ability to control the amount of food you eat. While everyone has moments of overindulging at the dinner table, Binge Eating Disorder is an ongoing struggle that stems from deeper issues and can have severe, lasting emotional and physical consequences.
Are you looking for an Eating Disorder Psychologist in Orange County? The team at Blair Wellness Group can help. Reach out today and start your journey to better control, better health, and a happier life.