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Is binge eating a mental disorder?

October 14, 2018

How many of us have eaten a bucket full of chocolate ice cream in one go? Is that just binge eating? In 2010, the American Psychiatric Association released a new draft on mental disorders which showed some significant changes in the classification of bipolar disorder, Asperger’s syndrome and binge eating. They termed Binge eating as a mental disorder, adding it to the group of eating disorders that includes anorexia and bulimia.
According to the Association, binge eating is defined as consuming large portions of food when you’re not hungry and then feeling disgusted and depressed. It’s the frequency of this guilty pleasure — and the depth of the anguish he or she feels after eating — that raises flags.
Emotions tend to get stronger and the urge to binge appears, and when this isn’t harnessed it takes over the mind. But when does one understand that they suffer from this illness? Dr Kamna Chibber, psychologist at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, explains the key difference.
“When a certain person suffers from this mental disorder they tend to binge eat frequently. Whereas, a casual day of overeating comes once in a while where the person has control over the portion of food and is still willing to go overboard. Also, regularity is the major factor that makes this big difference”, said Dr Chhibber.
Feeling depressed, guilty or shameful are some feelings that follow after that. If a person gets a negative image of their body this disoriented eating habits at times turns into anorexia and bulimia.
Remember, eating disorders are curable with the right kind of treatment.

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