Binge Eating Disorder

GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC

Worksheet updated on June 18th, 2018

Binge Eating Disorder

What Is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge eating disorder is the inability to control how much or how often you eat on a daily or weekly basis. People with binge eating disorders will go on binges, where they will overeat when not hungry. A person with binge eating disorder will eat until uncomfortably full. They also not make up for the food they eat through dieting, exercise, or purging.

Warning Signs For Binge Eating Disorder

People with binge eating disorder will feel like they cannot control their eating. They will eat a lot of food throughout the day and not consider the calories consumed. People with binge eating disorder have low self-esteem and do not like their bodies. They also tend to be depressed and eat to cope with emotional stress and aggression.

Sometimes binge eating disorder runs in families. Research suggests there may be a genetic component to binge eating disorder. Also, It is important to consider the behavior modeled while growing up. For example, if you were taught bad eating habits, like using food as comfort or reward, you will learn to overeat and emotional eat, to feel better when sad.

Health Effects Of Binge Eating Disorder

There are many medical consequences for binge eating disorder including:

  • Obesity
  • Type II diabetes
  • Depression and other mood disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Kidney damage
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Cardiovascular issues

Binge Eating Disorder Treatment Options

Binge eating disorder is difficult to manage, but with the help of medical and mental health services it is possible to regain control of your life. There are many mental health treatment options including:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – Helps with learning coping strategies to help the patient regain a sense of control.
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) – Helps you understand emotions and how they contribute to binge eating. Also helps with stress tolerance skills.
  • Psychiatric intervention – Research has found antidepressants can be useful in treatment.

It is important to talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes, like diet and exercise, that are important for your recovery. Your doctor can also refer you to people who can help, like nutritionists, physical therapists, and mental health services.

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