Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder is an eating disorder diagnosis recognised in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) since DSM-5 published in 2013.  It is officially diagnosed when a person has regular episodes of uncontrolled over-consumption of food which have occurred at least weekly over a period of three months, however the earlier binge eating treatment is sought the better.

Eating Disorders clinicians and researchers supported recognition of the diagnosis of Binge Eating Disorder (BED) to increase awareness of the difference between BED and simply ‘over eating’. BED is characterised by a person regularly eating more food in a short period of time than most people would eat under similar circumstances. But importantly, in a person with BED, the episodes are very upsetting, marked by a strong feeling of lack of control over their eating behaviour and feelings of guilt and shame.

Often, the person will eat alone, eat very quickly and regardless of any sensation of hunger. In between these episodes, people may resort to eating very little which increases their hunger levels and thus the likelihood of further bingeing episodes. Ellern Mede follows the NICE recommendation that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the treatment of choice for people with Binge Eating Disorder. We employ a patient-centred approach to tailor interventions to the individual’s life circumstances and health needs.

As a child, I discovered the power of food. I discovered I wanted more of it than I was permitted to have, that it was a restricted temptation, and I thought about it a lot. It calmed and shamed me at the same time. It signified love and hate. It brought me up and then down. It was my best friend and my worst enemy. Today I live with this as an adult but through therapy I can manage it.

An extract from a BED patient’s story

NHS referrals

Ellern Mede has provided specialist Tier 4 eating disorder services to the NHS since 2000. We respond to referrals within 24 hours.


Private referrals

Call now for immediate access to Ellern Mede specialist private eating disorder services. Accepted referrals begin treatment within two weeks or faster in emergencies.