Almost everyone overeats from time to time— taking an extra helping at Thanksgiving dinner, for example, or downing dozens of cookies during a late-night study session. But if overeating is a regular and uncontrollable habit, you may be suffering from binge eating disorder. Binge eaters use food to cope with stress and other negative emotions, but their compulsive overeating just makes them feel worse. Binge eating disorder is more common than bulimia and anorexia and affects a significant number of men as well as women. Binge eating disorder is treatable, however, and with the right help and support, you can learn to control your binge eating. Binge eating disorder is characterized by compulsive overeating in which people consume huge amounts of food while feeling out of control and powerless to stop. The symptoms of binge eating disorder usually begin in late adolescence or early adulthood, often after a major diet. A binge eating episode typically lasts around two hours, but some people binge on and off all day long. Binge eaters often eat even when they’re not hungry and continue eating long after they’re full. They may also gorge themselves as fast as they can while barely registering what they’re eating or tasting. People with binge eating disorder struggle with feelings of guilt, disgust, and depression. They worry about what the compulsive eating will do to their bodies and beat themselves up for their lack of self-control. They desperately want to stop binge eating, but feel like they can’t. Binge eating may be comforting for a brief moment, but then reality sets back in, along with regret and self-loathing. Binge eating often leads to weight gain and obesity, which only reinforces compulsive eating. The worse a binge eater feels about themself and their appearance, the more they use food to cope. It becomes a vicious cycle: eating to feel better, feeling even worse, and then turning back to food for relief. It is important to get binge eating help, and stop compulsive eating altogether! To get binge eating help, willpower is required.