Instead of labelling someone as “greedy” or a “glutton,” psychiatrists in Singapore suggest that people look for a more serious issue. According to the Straits Times, binge-eating disorder affects a number of people throughout Singapore. The disorder can be harmful to the body, but it is torture for the mind as well. Discover some of the causes and symptoms of binge-eating disorder.

Symptoms of Binge-Eating Disorder

Binge-eating disorder involves mental distress that leads to the consumption of huge amounts of food within a short period of time. People with this disorder have periodic episodes when they will eat and eat, uncontrollably and rapidly. Sometimes they eat alone to hide the amount of food they are consuming from others. Usually, these episodes are followed by periods of distress, guilt, and discomfort due to the overeating.

Important Distinctions and Differences

The disorder is different from overeating. Some people may overeat occasionally when at a buffet or on a special occasion; but they do it only to the point of slight discomfort, and there is a level of control and choice involved. Binge-eaters feel a compulsion to keep eating. They eat even if they are not hungry, and they keep going until the level of discomfort is very high.

The head of the department of psychiatry for Sengkang Health, Dr. Victor Kwok, remembers having a classmate who struggled with over-eating. When they were at a buffet together, the classmate could not stop eating. He would consume platefuls and bowlfuls of food until he felt ill. As a Secondary student at the time, Dr. Kwok found this behaviour baffling. Now he realises that his classmate may have been struggling with binge-eating disorder and the mental health issues that often accompany it, including depression and anxiety.

Statistics About the Disorder

No official data about the disorder has been collected in Singapore. However, experts suggest that it may be much more widespread than other eating disorders. In fact, some Singapore psychiatrists suspect that if you combine the number of Singaporeans with bulimia and anorexia and then triple that number, you’ll have an estimate of the people afflicted with binge-eating disorder in Singapore.

Health Risks of Binge-Eating Disorder

Risks of binge-eating disorder include significant weight gain, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other problems. About 40-50 percent of people with binge-eating disorder are overweight. Others may still suffer from the condition, but may exercise more, or do not binge often enough to pack on the kilos. However, the most painful part of the disorder is the shame and guilt that often accompanies the bingeing episodes.

Singapore Therapy for Eating Disorders

Do you know someone who may be affected by binge-eating disorder? This particular disorder comes with a whole range of potential health risks, some of them severe enough to be life-threatening. In addition, your friend or relative may suffer from feelings of depression, anxiety, and helplessness, trapped in a negative mental cycle that could eventually turn suicidal.

Take time to check in with your friend, find out how he or she is really doing, and encourage that person to seek help. At Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic, our clients are welcomed into a beautiful, non-judgmental space where they can regain control through several types of treatment and therapy. Make an appointment for yourself or a loved one today!

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Source: Straits Times, 31 Jan 2017