Everyone overeats at some time, but when overeating happens often and in secret, it's called binge-eating disorder. Binge-eating is a serious eating disorder in which a person frequently eats unusually large amounts of food.

People with binge-eating disorder may be deeply embarrassed about gorging and decide to stop. But they feel such a compulsion that they can't resist the urges and then continue binge eating.

Although binge-eating disorder is the most common of all eating disorders, it's still not considered a distinct condition. That may change as researchers learn more about it. Meanwhile, if a person has a binge-eating disorder, treatment can help her win back control and overcome secret shame.