What is Compulsive Eating Disorder, and is it the same thing known as Binge Eating (BED) Disorder?
-The terms are often used interchangeably and in the vast majority of cases this is correct, and when a compulsive eater overeats due to bingeing , it can indeed be said that he or she has a binge eating disorder.
While both terms describe the same basic problem, a very small percentage of those with a compulsive eating disorder would not be considered to have a binge eating disorder.
The term binge indicates an excessive amount. (see binge eating video below)
-The difference being, in some isolated cases a compulsive eater may be compelled to eat small amounts (although not in excess) of food many, many times throughout the day (without even being overweight), therefore not actually "bingeing" or considered a binge eater. (but definitely compulsive)
-The key here is that the eating of a binge eater is an excessive amount.
This type of compulsive eater may eventually become a binge eater as well, if the problem is not addressed and controlled. (if small amounts increase)
Whichever you call it, compulsive or binge eating, it is the most common of all eating disorders. It affects 2% of men but is more likely to be seen in women (3½%) both in late teens and early 20s. (but can occur in anyone)
It is also present in over 30% of those who seek treatment for excessive weight gain, as compulsive over eating eventually leads to obesity. These percentages are likely much higher, as so many go undetected.
We all have a compulsion to eat more than we should from time to time, but a person with a compulsive eating disorder simply cannot control what is an irresistible impulse to eat.
-Unlike with Bulimia, those with a binge eating problem do not fast or purge (through vomiting or laxative use), nor do they use strenuous exercise after a binge, thereby ensuring the inevitable weight gain.
Often, the person who suffers from a compulsive eating disorder will resort to hiding while they eat, to consume their food alone because they are so embarrassed by their actions. The urge to eat large quantities of food is just too great and cannot be ignored.
-A compulsive eater is not too difficult to recognize. Many of the most common signs of a compulsive eating disorder are also the most obvious:
Although people with compulsive eating disorder are usually overweight, in the early stages many are of average, or only slightly overweight. This is the best time to correct eating habits and to seek professional help.
What may be the hardest part for sufferers of this eating disorder to deal with, is the lack of understanding from their peers.
In many cases, people recovering from drug or alcohol addictions often seem to receive more compassion and understanding, which only worsens the psychological effects for compulsive over eaters.
-Over 75% of those affected are found to have an emotional or psychological component to their eating habits:
The Good News:
-If a friend or loved one is showing signs of a compulsive eating disorder, and you suspect they're having a problem, encourage them to talk it out with you and seek help from a professional, it's a very treatable disorder.
-Check out the thing about compulsive eating disorder for more.
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