Binge eating disorder

Like bulimia and anorexia, binge eating is a psychological eating disorder.


Like bulimia and anorexia, binge eating is a psychological eating disorder. A variety of factors influence the development of this disorder, such as stress, low self-esteem and frustration. This leads to compulsive episodes of overeating and eating very large amounts of food, usually in secret. It's important to discuss such symptoms with a specialist.


  • Compulsive episodes of binge eating
    • Loss of control
    • Eating very large amounts of food
    • Eating without being hungry
    • Eating until you feel uncomfortably full
    • Eating very fast (bolting food)
  • No measures to reduce weight (in contrast to bulimia)
  • Eating disorder
    • Periodic
    • Chaotic
    • In secret, not in public
    • Distorted perception of satiation
  • Dissatisfaction with own body
    • Embarrassment, shame and disgust (in particular after episodes of binge eating)


Causes and treatment


Coincidence of several causes

  • Emotional lability, frustration
  • Low sense of self-worth
  • Personal stress situations
  • Unhealthy relationship with food
  • Dissatisfaction with figure, weight (body image)

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Psychological counselling
  • Physical examination
  • Blood test
Possible therapies

Objective: regaining control over eating habits

  • Psychological measures (incomplete list)
    • Psychotherapy
    • Behavioural therapy
  • Anti-depressants (medication), if necessary
  • Options for losing weight (not the main objective of therapy), see:

What can I do myself?

  • Gain understanding
    • Own situation
    • Eating disorder
    • Background
    • Options
  • Involve other people
    • Accept help
    • Open up to the outside
  • Eating behaviour
    • Regaining of self-control
    • Healthy, balanced diet
    • Regularity
    • Reduce amounts
    • Don't use food as a coping mechanism

When to see a doctor?

  • Episodes of bingeing
    • Gobbling of food
    • Loss of control
    • Excessive amounts
    • Distorted feelings of hunger/satiation
  • Feeling unwell for a lengthy period
  • Obesity
  • Psychological strain

Further information

Schweizer Gesellschaft für Essstörungen SGES (Swiss Association for Eating Disorders)

Arbeitsgemeinschaft Ess-Störungen AES (Association for Eating Disorders)


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Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.