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.

An eating disorder is a mental illness that often includes stark physical manifestations. For instance, those suffering with anorexia tend to become emaciated and bone-thin; whereas bulimics can actually maintain or even gain weight. This is largely due to the binge eating habits of bulimics, which usually involves a massive caloric intake that is then purged.

Purging food via self-induced vomiting or consumption of laxatives is a symptom shared by both the bulimic and anorexic. There are other similarities in symptoms between the two diseases, including exercising excessively and a distorted body image. However, the fear of weight gain causes anorexics to severely limit their food intake as opposed to the bulimic habit of purging after binging large amounts of food.

Help for Eating Disorders

The longer one waits to be treated for eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, the greater the chances that permanent or fatal damage to the body will occur. Eating disorders studies reveal that muscle loss, bone deterioration and the weakening of just about every organ in the body will become increasingly significant as these diseases continue to run their course.

Therefore, it is imperative that bulimia treatment, anorexia treatment and treatment of other types of eating disorders be started as soon as these conditions are verified. Eating disorder clinics and eating disorder treatment centers around the country have experienced mental health professionals on staff who are better equipped than ever before to administer to those suffering from eating disorder-related illnesses.

Eating disorder treatment often encompasses various types of psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy and might also include family therapy sessions. Nutritional counseling and a focus on weight restoration are also part of a comprehensive eating disorder treatment program that can eventually give those affected the tools to move forward and live fulfilling lives.