The Relationship between Binge Eating Disorder and Depression: They Relate?

middle aged women looking out the window (depression)People who eat until they are uncomfortably full, eat in secret or lose self control while eating may be suffering from Binge Eating Disorder. Many binge eaters find their symptoms being accompanied with feeling apathetic, empty, worthless, fatigued, or flat. This combination of symptoms is common because 75% of those diagnosed with an eating disorder also suffer from symptoms of depression.

There is a strong correlation between binge eating disorder and depressive symptoms. Why?  

The answer lies in the brain chemistry. Neurotransmitters are the brain’s “chemical messengers” that travel from neuron to neuron carrying signals. These chemical messengers, like serotonin, are responsible for controlling mood, appetite and memory. Serotonin evokes emotions such as emotional satisfaction, happiness, and depresses hunger. Because serotonin controls both appetite and mood, low levels of serotonin found in those with Binge Eating Disorder may also predispose those patients to symptoms of depression.

To learn more about BED and current approaches to treatment through medical research, call the Institute for Advanced Medical Research at 770-817-9200.