If you have noticed that sometimes you just can’t seem to stop eating, or that you don’t realize how much you have eaten until you are done, you may be suffering from binge eating. Many women feel shame around binge eating and struggle to ask for help. Haven Hills offers a safe and compassionate place for you to begin the journey of behavior change completely free of judgment. If you are seeking binge eating disorder treatment, please call so we can help you change you create lasting change in your relationship with food.
Binge Eating Disorder: What is it?
Binge eating disorder (BED) is a serious, and sometimes life-threatening disorder. Those who suffer from binge eating disorder experience recurrent episodes, eating large quantities of food. They may eat very quickly and until they are very uncomfortable. Strong emotions, such as such as guilt, shame, or distress, soon follow, leading to depression, anxiety, and isolation. Unlike with bulimia nervosa, individuals who struggle with binge eating disorder do not purge what they’ve eaten.
How is Binge Eating Disorder Diagnosed?
When diagnosing binge eating disorder, physicians look for certain behaviors to be present. Binge episodes are recurrent, and the amount of food consumed is larger than normal. In addition to feelings of regret and shame, there is a sense of a lack of control. For a binge eating diagnosis, the individual binges at least once per week for three months, and the binge eating pattern is not compensated by any type of purging behavior, such as vomiting, using laxatives, or excessive exercise.
Who is Affected by Binge Eating Disorder?
Binge eating disorder often begins in a person’s late teens or early twenties, though it does begin at other ages as well. BED affects more women than men, however more women than men seek treatment. Studies have shown that up to 3.5% of American women and up to 2% of American males will develop and experience BED in their lifetime. In America, binge eating disorder is three times more common than anorexia and bulimia combined. Thirty percent of people seeking weight loss treatment show signs of binge eating disorder.
Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder
Are you concerned about someone who might have binge eating disorder? Have you been struggling with binge eating yourself? Here are some of the signs and symptoms:
- Eating alone
- Eating when not hungry
- Eating until uncomfortably full
- Eating rapidly
- Inability to stop eating once you’ve begun
- Eating throughout the day in addition to planned meals
- Feelings of distress, guilt, depression, and shame during and following binge eating
- A profound feeling of self-loathing
- Weight gain and obesity
- Think about food all the time
- Never feeling satiated, no matter how much food is eaten
- Binge eating occurs at least once weekly for three months
- Binge eating is not accompanied by efforts to offset food eaten while bingeing
- Desperate attempts to control eating and lose weight
The effects of binge eating disorder are serious and potentially life-threatening. Physical and emotional problems include insomnia, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, weight gain and obesity, suicidal thoughts, social isolation.
Binge Eating Disorder Treatment
With binge eating disorder treatment, recovery is possible. Psychotherapeutic tools, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy is effective. Knowing you’re not alone is key to recovery, so group psychoeducation and therapeutic process groups are key to confronting the isolation and the other common emotional challenges that accompany binge eating disorder. Therapy explores the emotions, and sometimes untreated trauma, associated with the root source of binge eating disorder.
If someone you care about is suffering from binge eating disorder, encourage her or him to seek help. Be supportive and try to listen without judgment. Offer them contact information for Haven Hills Recovery. Our supportive, professional staff can offer resources and treatment options (including IOP and PHP) to help.