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Binge-Eating Disorder

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Binge-Eating Disorder Eating disorders have been around for years. A person with an eating disorder is so preoccupied with weight and food that he or she can barely focus on anything else. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (2007), the two most common disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Each is a mental disorder and has its own category. A person with anorexia nervosa is obsessed with being thin and food, at times to the point of self-starvation. A person with bulimia nervosa usually consumes large amounts of food in a short amount of time and then tries to get rid of the extra calories by throwing up or excessive exercise (Mayo Clinic, 2010). But, over the past several years a new front-runner has emerged: binge-eating disorder. Binge-eating disorder is similar to bulimia nervosa in that it is a mental disorder; however, the signs, symptoms, and treatment are more complex. Binge-eating disorder is when a person consumes abnormally large amounts of food at least two or more times a week. A person with the disorder often feels a loss of control over his or her eating. It differs from bulimia because there is no purging or excessive exercise afterward. Of all eating disorders, binge-eating disorder is the most prevalent. It is commonly seen in people over the age of 35 and is seen in men almost as often as women (Videbeck, 2011). In addition to binge-eating disorder, it is not uncommon for people to suffer higher rates of other mental issues such as major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, alcoholism, and other substance abuse disorders (Yager, 2008). A person with the disorder typically has it for eight years on average compared to almost two years for anorexia nervosa. Unfortunately, it is not considered a distinct psychiatric condition and falls into a third category: eating disorders not...

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