Exploring alexithymia, depression, and binge eating in self-reported eating disorders in women.Perspect Psychiatr Care. 2005 Jul-Sep; 41(3):114-23.PP
Binge eating is often a way of life for many women even if the diagnostic criteria for the tentative DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of binge eating disorder is not met.
Binge eating was conceptualized as a problem in affect regulation. Affective indices of alexithymia and depression were measure with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS), the Alexithymia-Provoked Response Questionnaire (APQR), and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), respectively. This study was an exploratory study of 65 subjects, 35 of whom self-reported as eating disordered and 30 as non-eating disordered.
Of the eating-disordered subjects, 95% scored significantly on the Eating Habits Checklist as binge eaters, 18% as anorexic, and 23% as bulimic. Significant relationships were found between alexithymia and binge eating and depression. A stepwise logistic regression found that both alexithymia and depression discriminated between women with and without binge eating at .001 and .002, respectively.
This study found that alexithymia was more highly correlated with binge eating than with either anorexia or bulimia. In addition, a significant history of trauma and health problems for those who reported as binge eaters was reported. Implications for practice are discussed.