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What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a complex mental illness, but it is treatable and with the right treatment, recovery is possible.

 There’s no “right way” to have BED, however, there are shared characteristics and behavioural patterns that help in the diagnosis of the illness. Often, people suffering with BED eat large quantities of food – called “binging” – but not typically engage in compensatory behaviours such as with Bulimia. Sufferers often feel a significant amount of shame and guilt associated with their symptoms, which traps them in the cycle of the illness.

 BED is not about the food, rather, the symbolic act of binging can be understood as an attempt to negate or interrupt overwhelming negative emotions. People often talk of entering a trance-like state when binging, or, becoming preoccupied with planning their binges as they go about their everyday lives in work or education.

 Because of the secretive nature of the illness, and the fact that many people with BED maintain a “normal” weight, the illness often persists whilst someone is otherwise high-functioning in other areas of their lives. What’s more, it’s sometimes hard to distinguish between BED and overeating – as to occaisionally overeat, and “comfort eat”, is normal behaviour as human beings.

 That being said, if you feel as though your relationship to food and eating is significantly impacting your day-to-day life, it’s important that you reach out for specialist support with this as soon as possible.  

What causes Binge Eating Disorder? 

Like other eating disorder diagnoses, there is no one single cause. Rather, a combination of social, genetic and psychological factors that can contribute.


Common behavioural and psychological symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder

  • Eating uncontrollably (binging) and/or fear of eating uncontrollably
  • Petty theft to get hold of food to binge on
  • Secretive eating and isolation
  • Acts of self-disgust and self-harm
  • Perfectionism 
  • Depression and other co-occurring conditions such as OCD
  • Low self-esteem
  • Preoccupation with body image and appearance


Orri’s approach to treating Binge Eating Disorder

Often, people suffering with Binge Eating Disorder struggle to manage their emotions in a healthy and intuitive way. As such, our multi-disciplinary team works with the individual to forge new pathways and healthy coping mechanisms, whilst addressing any co-occurring conditions which may fuel or exacerbate the eating disorder behaviours.

 Like with other eating disorder diagnoses, Orri believes that recovery is possible and that treatment should heal the individual as a whole, embracing his or her complexity and unique history. We heal the underlying cause by providing individuals with the tools they need to recover – recognizing that everyone is different and therefore everyone’s experience of an eating disorder will be different.

Our particular area of focus is specialist day treatment through a stepped approach. By taking a stepped approach, we can provide the right level of support as individuals maintain their careers, go to school or university, and return to their lives alongside recovery. It’s this flexibility and emphasis on collaboration that makes our approach unique

Recovery is more than just an absence of symptoms. It is a gradual process that won’t happen on any particular day but will deepen and strengthen with time. Our commitment is to the individual and their journey, as well as to the support system around them of family and carers.

It is possible to recover from Binge Eating Disorder. 

We’re here, whenever you’re ready.

We accept private medical insurance. Please ask our Admissions Specialist for more details.

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