We all enjoy a second serving of food or an extra scoop of ice cream every now and again. An occasional bout of overindulgence is normal. However, if you repeatedly find yourself gorging on large quantities of food and experiencing depression or guilt afterward, you may be a compulsive overeater or have binge eating disorder (BED).
The key difference between BED and bulimia is purging. While people with bulimia vomit or abuse laxatives and diuretics to purge their bodies of excess food, people with binge eating disorder generally do not. Rather, those with BED often severely—and often dangerously—restrict their food intake after they binge.