Binge Eating Disorder was recently recognized as a disease in the DSM-V. It is defined as a series of recurrent episodes of significantly increased food intake within a short period of time compared to what most people consume under similar conditions, with episodes characterized by a feeling of lack of control, occurring at least once a week over a three month period, without extreme compensatory behaviour to achieve weight loss, such as induced vomiting or the use of laxatives (in this case, refer to Bulimia). A person with Binge Eating Disorder may eat very quickly, even when they are not hungry. Feelings of guilt, shame or disgust will often arise. These foods may be consumed in isolation or in secret to hide the behaviour.
Patients with Binge Eating Disorder tend to have lower self-esteem, an external locus of control and a greater preoccupation with weight and physical shape compared to other individuals who are also overweight but do not have this disorder.
Out of all persons with Binge Eating Disorder, 78.9% have some other axis I psychiatric diagnosis (such as depression, bipolar disorder and/or anxiety disorders). It is estimated that 27 to 47% of bariatric surgery patients have this issue. Patients with panic disorder are more vulnerable to developing binge eating as a means to relieve their anxiety. Similarly, patients with mood disorders may develop binge eating as a maladaptive strategy for emotional regulation.
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