Binge-Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) was added as a diagnostic category in the DSM-V. It is the most common eating disorder, but there is far less research on BED than other eating disorders at this time. The primary symptom reported in BED is binge eating, but bingeing is typically part of a binge-restrict cycle in which restriction leads to bingeing and then is a reaction to bingeing.  Binge eating is an adaptive response to dieting and often times BED begins after periods of dieting. Binge Eating Disorder affects people in all body sizes, as well as, both adults and children/adolescents locally, in Bucks County, PA, and around the world.

The DSM-V criteria for Binge Eating Disorder includes:

Binge-Eating Disorder

  1. Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by


  1. Eating in a discrete period of time (e.g. within any 2 hour period), an

amount of food that is definitely larger than what most individuals would

eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances;

  1. A sense of lack of control over eating during the episodes (e.g. a feeling

that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating).

  1. Binge eating episodes are associated with three or more of the following:
  2. Eating much more rapidly than normal.
  3. Eating until feeling uncomfortably full.
  4. Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry.
  5. Eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating.
  6. Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty afterwards.
  7. Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.
  8. The binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for 3 months.
  9. The binge eating is not associated with the recurrent use of inappropriate
  10. compensatory behavior as in bulimia nervosa and does not occur exclusively during
  11. the course of bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa.

Our Approach

After we conduct our initial intake evaluation, we direct our patients to visit their family doctor or pediatrician for a full medical workup. This will determine whether the patient has been medically compromised by binge-eating disorder and to what extent. If the patient is severely medically compromised, they may be recommended for treatment in an inpatient setting for 30 or more days. If the client is medically stable, we formulate a customized plan of outpatient therapy in our offices with the goal of understanding what our patient is actually “hungry” for – that is, what psychological need is being dealt with by overeating instead of treatment and healing. When food is being used in place of love or nurturing, it can cause major life issues.

When we have a new client who is concerned that they may have Binge Eating Disorder, we will conduct an initial intake evaluation in which we meet with the client to learn more about them and develop a treatment plan. When there are other providers already involved in the patient’s care, we will reach out to them and coordinate care moving forward. 

Call our offices today to set up an appointment with a therapist if you or a loved one are struggling with binge eating.