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What is Binge Eating Disorder and am I at risk? 

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What is Binge Eating Disorder and am I at risk?

Binge Eating Disorder, commonly called BED, is a serious condition in which an individual consistently eats large amounts of food uncontrollably. It is a type of eating disorder that can take a toll on one’s mental and physical well-being. Although the causes of Binge Eating Disorder are still not entirely clear, certain factors are believed to play a role. Emotional distress, such as anxiety, depression, or stress, is often a trigger for binge eating. Certain life circumstances, such as job loss, relationship problems, or the death of a loved one, may also contribute to the development of Binge Eating Disorder. Additionally, genetics and environmental factors may play a role in the development of this condition.  Some individuals with ADHD may be at higher risk for developing an eating disorder, such as Binge Eating Disorder.  Recent studies suggest these individuals are more impulsive and have less control than their peers over their eating habits. 

How to tell if I have binge eating disorder?

Binge eating disorder is a condition marked by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food, often quickly and to the point of discomfort. Symptoms of binge eating disorder can include eating more food than intended, eating to the point of being uncomfortably full or sick, eating alone due to embarrassment or shame or hiding eating from others, feeling out of control during a binge, and feeling guilty or ashamed after a binge. People with binge eating disorder may also experience weight gain and have a preoccupation with their body shape or size. It’s important to note that while occasional overeating doesn’t necessarily indicate binge eating disorder, if you’re concerned about your eating habits or symptoms, it may be helpful to speak with a mental health professional. 

How is Binge Eating Disorder treated?

Binge Eating Disorder is often accompanied by feelings of guilt and shame, which can make it difficult for individuals to seek help. However, therapy for binge eating can be very effective in helping individuals recover from Binge Eating Disorder. This therapy, called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, primarily focuses on changing the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to binge eating. It can also help individuals develop healthy coping mechanisms to deal with negative emotions and feelings that trigger binge eating episodes.  

Medications can also be used to help with Binge Eating Disorder.  Many different types of medications can be used to target Binge Eating Disorder and often a combination is prescribed.  Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and stimulants such as Vyvanse may be used.  Your mental health provider will help determine which medication is right for you depending on your symptoms. Remember, that each individual is different and requires a tailored treatment plan.  Keep in mind the goal of treatment for Binge Eating Disorder is to reduce compulsive eating and not necessarily weight loss.  Once symptoms are controlled, any excess weight may reduce naturally through the corrected diet and exercise.  

Recovery from binge eating disorder can be a long and difficult journey, but with the right support and resources, individuals can achieve a healthy and balanced relationship with food. Seeking professional help from a therapist or a dietitian can be the first step in overcoming this condition. Additionally, building a strong support system with friends and family who understand what you’re going through can help make the recovery process smoother. Remember that recovery is possible, and with persistence, patience, and self-love, you can overcome binge eating disorder and live a happy, healthy life. 

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Excel Psychiatry

Faith Behavioral Health Group
McKinney, TX 75071

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