Eating disorders come in many forms and can affect people regardless of their age, gender or background. Food and eating-related disorders can stem from various causes, including a distorted body image, societal pressures and other existing mental health issues.
Although binge eating may not receive the same publicity as eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, it is prevalent within our society, affecting millions of Americans across a wide demographic.
Binge Eating Disorder Causes
Just about everyone overeats now and then. The holidays are notorious for heaping platefuls of food and second helpings, and people who experience trauma in their lives sometimes turn to food for comfort.
But binge eating crosses over into the territory of a “disorder” or “mental illness” when an individual feels powerless to stop binging episodes. The exact causes of this condition are not always clear. But underlying issues with anxiety, depression or an obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are often contributing factors. Binge eating is also a symptom of bulimia.
Binge Eating Disorders Treatment
If left untreated, it is likely the psychological aspects of this disorder will worsen. Additionally, the physical health of the binge eater may eventually be in jeopardy as the risk factors are high for conditions such as obesity and diabetes. The fact that sufferers of this disorder often hide it from those around them may also complicate matters and delay them from getting help.
The approach to binge eating treatment is similar to depression treatment. Because every case is different, treatment is tailored to meet the needs of a particular individual.
Talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are most often part of the treatment picture. These methods attempt to lay bare the origins of the binge eater’s behavior, address and change destructive behavior patterns and teach healthy coping skills. Anti-depressant medications may also come into play within a comprehensive strategy to help those with binge eating disorders move forward with their lives and develop a healthier outlook.
This blog is written and published by Lindner Center of HOPE.