It is often common for individuals to overeat on certain occasions, such as a special meal or during the holidays. But what you ate every meal in this fashion? That’s what occurs for those who suffer from a binge-eating disorder. To them, no special requirement is necessary in order to consume large quantities of food.

Approximately 2 million people from differing backgrounds have this condition. It does not single out certain groups according to ethnicity or age. In fact, an alarming fact is that it can even be found in children.

People with this type of affliction are often overweight, if not obese, although it is not a necessity in order to have the condition. They find it necessary to consume massive quantities of food at every sitting, even though they are not hungry. When a person begins to eat, it takes the stomach approximately 20 minutes to register what has been eaten and to notify the brain that it is full. That’s why the recommendation is to wait this period of time between helpings to give the body time to signal that no more food is necessary.

But in these extreme cases, there is no cutoff, nor does the brain intervene. The individual is so adept at continuing in their eating that they pay no attention to the body or the brain as a way of stopping. And not only do they consume large quantities of food, but they do so very quickly, which further complicates the matter.

Many times, others may think that these individuals do not care or that they might even wish to be overweight, but that is simply not the case. In fact, research has shown that those who suffer from this condition do so because of a loss of control, which is why the condition has also been known as compulsive eating. The compulsion to continue eating is there, but not the will to stop.

There is any number of triggers that can set off one of these eating sessions. It can be anything ranging from guilt to fear, anger, resentment, depression, or even stress. When one of these times occurs, the binger is looking for solace in the food, even though they typically feel guilty and upset while they are doing it.

The treatment for a binge-eating disorder is medication, psychotherapy, or even a carefully designed combination of both. Regardless of the course of treatment, the main goal is to determine what the triggering mechanisms are and to learn to effectively deal with them without the use of food.