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Perfect Illusions: Eating Disorders and the Family
Eating Disorders
Binge Eating Disorder in Males
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Binge eating or compulsive overeating is characterized by periods of uncontrolled, impulsive or continuous eating beyond the point of feeling full. While there is no purging, there may be fasts or repetitive diet attempts. Often there are feelings of shame and self-hatred after a binge.

Behavioral Characteristics:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating.
  • Eating much more rapidly than normal.
  • A sense of lack of self-control during binge episodes.
  • Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry.
  • Hoarding food.
  • Hiding food and eating in secret, such as eating alone or in the car, hiding wrappers, etc.
  • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full.
  • Eating throughout the day with no planned mealtimes.
Emotional and Mental Characteristics:
  • Feelings of disgust, guilt or depression during and after overeating.
  • Often triggered by uncomfortable feelings such as anger, anxiety or shame.
  • Binge eating used as a means of relieving tension, or to "numb" feelings.
  • Rigid, inflexible "all or nothing" thinking.
  • Strong need to be in control.
  • Difficulty expressing feelings and needs.
  • Perfectionism.
  • Works hard to please others.
  • Avoids conflict, tries to "keep the peace."
  • Disgust about body size, often teased about their body while growing up.
  • Feelings of worthlessness.
  • Social isolation.
  • Depression.
  • Moodiness and irritability.
Physical Characteristics:
  • Heart and blood pressure problems.
  • Joint problems.
  • Abnormal blood-sugar levels.
  • Fatigue.
  • Difficulty walking or engaging in physical activities.

Provided by the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA)
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