Binge Eating Disorder: Symptoms and Treatment
Binge Eating Disorder is a condition where the sufferer consumes large amounts of foods beyond their satiation level in a short period of time. They often feel like they have little control over their consumption, despite their degree of physical discomfort and attempts to refrain from overeating.
Binge Eating, also know as Compulsive Overeating can be described as “unconscious eating” with sufferers sometimes stating afterwards that their binge feels like a “blur”. Binge eating often is a response to stress or difficult emotions. Some state that their urges to over eat feel like an addiction. Binge eaters will often experience depression, anxiety, guilt, shame and hopelessness after a binge.
Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder
- Hours spent obsessing over when their next meal is or how they will get their next meal.
- Inability to stop binge eating behavior, despite genuine desire to do so.
- Social withdrawal or isolation, in fear of being “found out” or in fear of not being able to consume desired amounts of food without being judged.
- Physiological tolerance to large quantities of food.
- Physiological withdrawal if they do not consume large quantities of food.
Undergoing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be a very successful way to manage Binge Eating Disorder. CBT involves identifying binge urges and triggers and using different behaviors and mindfulness tools to manage them. Cognitive Therapy teaches Binge Eaters to restructure their distorted thoughts into more reasonable and rational thoughts. Behavioral Therapy involves making small, but significant behavioral changes to reduce the chances of binge eating and to manage life stressors.
Mindfulness can be an incredibly helpful tool to help Binge Eaters become more aware of their urges to overeat and tolerate the uncomfortable thoughts, feelings and sensations that often cause them to binge eat. (Read more about Mindfulness here LINK)
If you have some or all of these symptoms and you feel like the above information describes you, see a qualified mental health professional for an assessment. Click here to contact Kimberley Quinlan, LMFT.