Binge-eating disorder (BED) is a type of eating disorder where people feel compelled to overeat in order to deal with difficult emotions. People may feel as though they can't stop themselves from eating, no matter how much they want to.
Binge-eating is when a person eats a large amount of food over a short space of time. They may not be hungry when doing this, often resulting in physical discomfort, as well as feelings of shame and guilt. Often referred to as compulsive eating, the sufferer may have come to rely on food to mask or cope with feelings of distress. It is estimated that more than 1.5 million people in Britain suffer from an eating problem. Binge-eating disorder is believed to affect men and women equally at any age, though it tends to be more common in adults.
Binge-eating episodes will typically take place in private and may last a number of hours, though some episodes can last all day. This lack of control can leave a person feeling very distressed and upset, and it is often a sense of shame that prevents them from speaking up and seeking support.
Binge-eating disorder (also referred to as BED) can affect a person both physically and emotionally. Commonly associated with depression and anxiety, it is important for sufferers to know they're not alone and shouldn't be ashamed to ask for help.