Binge Eating Disorder: What is BED, Treatment Options

What is Binge Eating Disorder or BED?

Many may be surprised to learn that Binge Eating Disorder is the most common eating disorder in this country. It is characterized by a pattern of eating significantly large amounts of foods frequently to the point of physical distress and very quickly. There is a feeling of being out of control while bingeing. Also people who struggle with Binge Eating Disorder tend to binge even when they are not hungry.  Another distinguishing feature of Binge Eating Disorder is that after these episodes there are accompanying feelings of guilt and shame. Also, they often try to hide how much they have eaten. To meet criteria for this disorder there must be approximately one binge a week for at least three months. As well, Binge Eating Disorder is different from other eating disorders like Bulimia in that after a binge episode there are not regular attempts to mitigate the binge by purging or exercising excessively.


While there is no definitive cause for this disorder, it is likely contributed to by chemicals in your brain and challenging life experiences. As such, the work I would do with you to assist you with Binge Eating Disorder would focus on Dialectical Behavior Therapy to improve your ability to regulate your emotions and to tolerate distress. I would also teach you mindfulness skills to assist you with having increasing awareness of your emotions, thoughts, and actions.