Binge Eating Disorder

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People with binge eating disorder often eat an unusually large amount of food and feel their eating is out of control. Binge eating disorder often occurs with bulimia nervosa, another eating disorder that may involve purging. Binging can happen without other eating disorders. 

People with binge eating disorder may have other emotional problems, including:

  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Anger
  • Obsessive compulsive behavior


Symptoms of binge eating disorder include:

  • Eating quickly
  • Eating until you're uncomfortably full
  • Eating large amounts when you're not hungry
  • Eating alone due to embarrassment
  • Feeling disgusted, depressed or guilty after eating

Diagnosis & Treatment

Your doctor can diagnose you with binge eating disorder when there are an average of at least two binge-eating episodes a week for six months.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help you keep track of your eating and change your unhealthy habits. This may involve learning how to respond to tough situations and how to feel better about your body shape and weight.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy

In interpersonal psychotherapy, a counselor helps you look at your personal relationships and make changes in areas that negatively affect your life.


Certain antidepressant medications may be helpful for some people with binge eating disorder.


Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.