After years of feeling out of control with food, Jonathan Van Ness, a television personality and author, recently shared on social media his struggle with his eating and weight.

Binge-eating disorder is an eating disorder characterized by consuming large amounts of food with a sense of being out of control.

It is thought that Binge-eating disorder is the most common eating disorder around the world. It's thought that it may occur two to three times more frequently than the eating disorder.

Many people don't know the condition exists. Many people with binge-eating disorder don't realize they have it and don't get a diagnosis until their 30s or 40s.

The harm that can come from the condition can make it difficult for more people to get the help they need.

You need to know more.

Feeling out of control

A sense of being out of control when eating is what sets binge eating disorder apart from other eating disorders.

There are other signs of binge eating disorder.

  • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full,
  • Eating large amounts of food, even when not hungry,
  • Eating more quickly than normal,
  • Feelings of disgust, low mood, or guilt after eating.

Binge-eating disorder can be identified with proper support. It is important to catch it early as it can lead to a number of health problems.

Mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety, are reported by up to 70% of sufferers.

A quarter of people with binge-eating disorder have tried to take their own lives. Binge-eating disorder can affect a person's daily life in a number of ways.

The under-recognition of binge-eating disorder is a sad irony.

Cognitive therapy is one of the recommended psychological treatments that can help people understand the factors that cause them to binge eat.

In helping people stop binge eating, and in improving symptoms of other mental health conditions, psychological treatments can be very effective.

Drugs have been found to reduce binge eating. These are less effective than psychological therapy due to the risk of adverse effects.

Learning to change your relationship with food is one of the most important elements in recovering from an eating disorder. He said in his post that this helped him overcome his eating problems.

He learned to prioritize time to eat and to plan his meals.

Getting help

Binge-eating disorder can be caused by a number of factors, but symptoms are usually triggered by negative events or emotions, such as feeling bored, sad, or anxious.

It can be hard for people with binge-eating disorder to regulate their emotions, which can lead to vicious cycles of low mood and binge eating.

Changes in eating behavior, such as buying lots of food or eating even if you aren't hungry, can be signs of a problem with binge eating.

Binge eating is not an enjoyable experience and often people feel ashamed or guilty about their symptoms, making it hard to talk about these experiences.

If you think you have a problem with binge eating, talk to your GP so they can refer you to a specialist. It can be difficult to prepare in advance but it can help. You should consider what you say, what you worry about and what questions you have. You could bring a friend with you.

If you know someone who might have a problem with binge eating, it would be helpful to have a conversation with them about your concerns. Try to understand why they are struggling and encourage them to get help.

Binge-eating disorder is an illness that is often overlooked and under- treated. There are barriers for both patients and professionals when it comes to binge-eating disorder.

It's more difficult for sufferers to come forward if they're not told about the illness. Increasing awareness of binge-eating disorder will help those affected, as well as encourage them to seek treatment.

The University of Reading has an associate professor of clinical psychology.

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