Eating too much is not an unusual thing—think of the holiday season, when food is everywhere and you stuff yourself full. However, there’s a big difference between occasional overeating and binge eating disorder (BED).

BED is a medical condition and is often about feeling guilty, depressed and out of control. It’s unlike occasional overeating, when a person eats to celebrate—this is one of the common misconceptions. Here are few more.

Myth #1: Binge eaters are obese.

This is the most common myth about BED patients. Binge eating, compulsive eating and emotional eating do not always result in weight gain. In fact, you can’t tell if someone has BED by simply looking at them. The amount of calories taken and the rate at which the calories are burned differs from person to person. Although not all binge eaters are obese, most of them have trouble controlling their weight.

Myth #2: Binge eaters always feel hungry.

Binge eating has nothing to do with physical hunger. In fact, BED has little to do with food or eating; food is just the weapon of choice for this matter. For BED-diagnosed individuals, eating beyond satiety has become a solution to ease stress, depression, anger, sadness and other negative emotion. Some of the effective treatments for BED is to find alternative ways to cope with stress and learn the difference between emotional and physical hunger.

Myth #3: A physician is the expert for this medical condition.

Your physical or medical practitioner may be a great resource for medical health problems that might arise due to binge eating, but they don’t have enough knowledge for the treatment of BED’s root cause. To tackle the disorder from its roots, you will need to consult a psychotherapist and a dietician whose expertise is treating eating disorders. Working with experts with the right knowledge about BED helps ease symptoms and help you recognize emotions feelings that drive you to overeat.

Myth #4: BED is similar to bulimia.

BED and bulimia look similar on the surface. Both tend to make patient binge eat and as a result feel ashamed, distressed and guilty. However, there’s one major difference between these conditions: after binge eating, patients with bulimia try to get rid of extra calories by ‘purging,’ which could mean using laxatives, over-exercising or forcing themselves to vomit.

Myth #5: Binge eaters only need exercise and diet to get better.

The last thing a BED patient should do is to go on a diet. The dieting-overeating-gaining-weight cycle is a sign of eating disorder and a symptom of the common thinking that gets binge eaters into bingeing. Although consulting a dietician and following a structured eating plan helps control binge eating, going on a diet designed for weight loss is not recommended.