Don’t Suffer in Silence Getting Help for Binge Eating Disorder

Written by: Kirstin Schafer, Psy.D., Angela Derrick, Ph.D. & Susan McClanahan, Ph.D.

Don’t Suffer in Silence Getting Help for Binge Eating Disorder

Don’t Suffer in Silence Getting Help for Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a serious condition that affects many people. If you are struggling with this disorder, you don’t have to  suffer in silence. Getting help is essential for your well-being. The professionals at SpringSource Psychological Center wrote this article to discuss what Binge Eating Disorder is, its causes, symptoms, and treatment options. We will also provide tips on how to seek support and overcome this condition.

First Things First: What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge Eating Disorder is a mental health condition affecting millions worldwide. BED is the most common eating disorder (up to 6% of the population) and most misunderstood diagnostic category of eating disorders.  It is characterized by eating large amounts of food in a short period of time, even when not feeling hungry or full. Unlike bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder does not involve purging or over-exercising after eating and can lead to obesity, diabetes, and other health problems. The condition can be embarrassing, and many people feel ashamed or guilty about their behavior, leading them to suffer in silence and secrecy.

Causes of Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder is a complex condition that can result from various factors. Some common causes of Binge Eating Disorder include:

  1. Genetics: Studies have shown that there may be a genetic component to Binge Eating Disorder. If a family member has this condition, you may be more likely to develop it.
  2. Psychological Factors: Binge Eating Disorder can be caused by underlying mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety,stress or a history of trauma.
  3. Dieting: Many people with Binge Eating Disorder have a history of dieting, which can lead to unhealthy relationships with food and trigger binge episodes.  Food restriction in particular can backfire and lead the body to seek out much needed calories in a way that feels out of control to the individual.
  4. Social Factors: Social pressure and perfectionistic strivings to conform to a particular body type or weight can also contribute to binge eating disorder. 
Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder

Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder can be challenging to diagnose, as many people hide their behavior from others. However, some common symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder include:

  1. Eating large amounts of food in a short period, even when not feeling hungry or full.
  2. Feeling out of control while eating.
  3. Eating alone because of embarrassment or shame.
  4. Feeling guilty or ashamed after a binge episode.
  5. Experiencing physical symptoms, such as stomach pain, bloating, or fatigue.

Treatment Options for Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder can be treated with a combination of therapies, including:

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This therapy helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors contributing to binge eating.
  2. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): DBT focuses on managing intense emotions and developing coping skills to prevent binge eating episodes.
  3. Medications: Certain medications, such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications, may be prescribed to help manage underlying mental health conditions contributing to Binge Eating Disorder.
  4. Nutritional Counseling: Nutritional counseling can help individuals develop a healthy relationship with food and learn how to make healthy choices.

Alternative therapies such as mindfulness, yoga, embodiment and somatic work can aid individuals in becoming more in tune with their bodies, responding to inner cues such as hunger and fullness, and developing a better relationship with their physical bodies.  

Seeking Help and Support

If you or someone you know is struggling with Binge Eating Disorder, there are several ways to seek help and support. Some options include:

  1. Talking to a healthcare professional: A doctor or mental health professional can provide a diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment options.
  2. Joining a support group: Support groups can provide a safe space to share experiences and receive encouragement from others who are going through similar challenges.
  3. Engaging in self-care: Practicing self-care, such as getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and reducing stress, can help reduce the likelihood of binge eating episodes.

In closing, we offer this Q&A as a recap:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Is binge eating disorder the same as overeating?

A. No, binge eating disorder is a serious mental health condition that involves consuming large amounts of food in a short period, even when not feeling hungry or full. Conversely, overeating is a common behavior that may occur occasionally or in response to emotional or social situations.

Q. Can binge eating disorder be cured?

A. There is no known cure for binge eating disorder, but it can be effectively managed with proper treatment and support. Many people with this condition go on to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

Q. How long does treatment for binge eating disorder take?

A. Treatment for binge eating disorder can vary depending on the individual’s needs and the severity of the condition. For example, some people may see improvement within a few months, while others may require long-term treatment and support.

Q. Can I recover from Binge Eating Disorder on my own?

A. While some people may be able to manage their symptoms independently, seeking professional help and support is often beneficial. A mental health professional can provide an accurate diagnosis, recommend appropriate treatment options, and offer guidance and support throughout the recovery process.

Conclusion

Binge eating disorder is a serious mental health condition that can significantly impact an individual’s physical and emotional well-being. If you or someone you know is struggling with this condition, seeking help and support is essential. With proper treatment and support, managing the symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder and leading a healthy and fulfilling life is possible. Don’t suffer in silence. Getting help for Binge Eating Disorder is essential for your well-being. Remember, there is no shame in seeking help, and recovery is possible.

Spring Source Psychological Center is waiting to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us at https://springsourcecenter.com or call us at 224-202-6260. We exist to offer you or your loved one treatment and support!