Social Complications of Binge Eating
Because of their compulsive eating behaviors, individuals may tend to isolate themselves, making this one of the primary social complications of binge eating. Others may criticize or tease them about their weight or diet. They may be drawn to unhealthy relationships due to a poor self-image and low self-esteem. Feeling forced o keep their eating habits secret may prevent them from making close friends. Loved ones may have trouble understanding the individual’s reclusive or unhealthy behaviors, creating tension in relationships. The cycle of negative attention may exacerbate the individual’s guilt as well as his or her need to indulge in binge eating practices.
Family members and friends may detect the need for intervention if the individual is displaying these signs of binge eating:
- Eating large amounts of food in short periods of time (under two hours)
- Chronic dieting or obsession over weight
- Poor coping skills
- Symptoms of another mental health condition, such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD, alongside haphazard eating patterns
- Poor body image
- A tendency to form unhealthy connections with others
- Stealing or hoarding food
- Spending a lot of money on food
- Unexplained absences or changes in schedule (to accommodate binge eating)
According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, approximately half the risk for suffering from BED is genetic. Almost 3% of American adults will struggle with BED in their lifetime.