Awarding binge eating disorder (BED) recognition as an official mental health diagnosis will help improve the quality of life for thousands of people suffering from the disorder, according to an international organization that treats eating disorders.
BED will be included as a mental health diagnosis in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), the manual that is used by mental health professionals to diagnose and treat mental disorders.
People suffering from BED often experience compulsive, out-of-control episodes of eating after which they suffer from shame, guilt and depression and which are often accompanied by serious medical and psychiatric comorbidities.
Eating Recovery Center's Emmett Bishop said that official recognition of the condition will help people overcome the stigma associated with BED. "BED has long been underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed as a mental health issue, due in large part to its classification as only a provisional eating disorders diagnosis in the DSM. The acceptance of BED as a recognized and treatable mental illness has the potential to lead to more access to care, open new avenues to insurance coverage and diminish the stigma that many of its sufferers have faced", he said.