Bipolar Disorder Has Different Symptoms in Those Who Binge Eat

  • 30 December 2015
  • Petra_1

A study found that bipolar disorder progresses differently in patients who also binge eat. Statistics report that about 4% of the general population in the States suffers from Bipolar Disorder. Out of this segment, about 10% of people have Binge Eating Disorder as well, which is significantly higher than the occurrence of binge eating in the general population. This has led several psychiatrists to believe that binge eating and bipolar illness are somehow connected. Recent information contained in the updated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists BED as a distinct condition.

More Severe Symptoms

Bipolar patients usually are expected to suffer from heart problems (due to obesity caused by prescribed medications), arthritis, diabetes and high blood pressure. But if a Bipolar patient is suffering from binge eating as well, their mental illness has a unique path, characterized by more severe symptoms, such as suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, anxiety disorders and psychosis. The studies conducted by Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota found that of those suffering from Bipolar Disorder women are more susceptible to binge eating than men.

How is this study helpful?

This study disproves the idea that researchers and psychiatrists have had for a long time that binge eating happens as a part of stress that is caused by Bipolar depression. While this is possible, it is also highly probable that binge eating is a problem that exists on its own. So, if binge eating is considered to be only a symptom resulting from depression, it cannot be seen as a problem that needs solving. Rather, it will be seen as a side effect that will go away once the depression is addressed. But Binge Eating Disorder (BED) can complicate treatment because of this faulty thinking, and make it difficult for the patient to live a better life.

This new study has helped doctors to treat BED with utmost concern, and they are focused on reducing the effects of this disorder so that it does not affect or hamper the treatment prescribed for Bipolar Disorder. This allows doctors to focus on a subset of the population affected by Bipolar Disorder and find a more customized and personalized treatment for them.

There are studies now which focus on finding a genetic link that could cause some bipolar patients to be more susceptible to binge eating. Studies like these will help in figuring out more about how bipolar illness is affected by other problems that exist in humans. More information is going to finally help us to figure out the perfect treatment which guarantees complete success.

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