Binge Eating…A new diagnosis, but not a new phenomenon

Are you an emotional eater?  Are you obsessed or addicted to sweets or salty snacks?  Well, you are not alone.  3.5% of women and 2% of men binge eat, at some time during the life time.  Binge eating is such a common issue presented in doctors’ and therapists’ offices that it was added as an eating disorder to the recently updated DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual).  The manual, used for diagnosing, outlines the symptoms of binge eating.  You may recognize some:


  • Frequent episodes of eating what others would consider an abnormally large amount of food
  • Frequent feelings of being unable to control what or how much is being eaten
  • Eating much more rapidly than usual
  • Eating until uncomfortably full
  • Eating large amounts of food, even when not physically hungry
  • Eating alone out of embarrassment at the quantity of food being eaten
  • Feelings of disgust, depression, or guilt after overeating
  • Fluctuations in weight
  • Feelings of low self-esteem
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Frequent dieting


If you identify with some of the above, you do NOT necessarily have a binge eating disorder.  But you can put things into place to manage the unhealthy habit.  For instance, following a regular meal plan and focusing on health rather than weight can start you on the right path for long term success.  Understanding your triggers to binge eating (for example: feelings, moods, social interactions and relationships) and learning healthier ways to cope with triggers, is another long term success strategy.


Don’t let feelings of shame and guilt hold you back from seeking help.  If you find that the above suggestions aren’t enough, please reach out for the compassionate professional assistance of a River Birch therapist.  We are here to listen and help you find your way back to a healthy, satisfied life.