Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder: What Is It?

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) occurs when a person consumes larger-than-normal amounts of food in a short time (say, less than 2 hours), usually when they are not physically hungry. If such episodes are accompanied by feelings of loss of self - control, embarrassment, feeling uncomfortably full, and eventually feeling distress/guilt as a result of having overeaten, a person is likely to have a BED. Unlike certain eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa, BED is not linked to inappropriate compensatory behaviors like purging (e.g. vomiting, use of laxatives etc.). As a result, BED is usually associated with episodes of obesity.

Binge Eating Disorders: What Causes Them?

People develop BED for a variety of causes, as with any eating disorders. Although they vary depending on a person's life experiences, emotional nature, and genetic predisposition, the relevant elements can be broadly classified into three groups.

Biological – Our hormonal system can become imbalanced for a variety of reasons and begin to transmit incorrect messages regarding when and when not to eat; while not the sole cause of a BED, imbalances like these are known to play a part in the development of BED.

From an evolutionary point of view, our food supply would not have always been as plentiful as it is currently, making longer intervals of fasting and feasting a normal process. Unfortunately, a mix of our instinctive tendency to make the most out of food available and the contemporary abundance of food (especially high processed, refined, and less nutritious food) can occasionally have unforeseen effects.

Psychological – There are significant correlations between sadness, impulsive control, and emotional expression and BED. These are frequently linked to the development of BED and can be associated with a number of factors discussed above and below. In any regard, when dealing with BED, it should be identified and approached.

Social – We can form unhealthy associations with food throughout our life, which can also contribute to BED via sociocultural factors. For instance, if an individual starts turning to food for comfort or as a coping mechanism for stress, it can lay the groundwork for problematic binge eating behavior. When paired with obesity (and the usual emotions of bodily dissatisfaction or judgment from others that often follow), 'emotional eating' as a response to discomfort can lead to a BED.

Binge Eating Disorder: What Are The Treatment Options?

A variety of treatment options are available for those suffering from BED, depending on the individual's unique circumstances. In the first occurrence, one of three possible interventions is suggested:

  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for binge eating disorder (CBT-BED)

  • This entails working with a trained professional to identify, challenge, and modify unhealthy or dysfunctional binge eating behaviors. It can involve informative factors around food and good weight reduction themes, and it will also assist a patient in managing their emotions about eating.

  • Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT)

  • It deals with relationship challenges that can lead to BED. Originally designed to treat depression, it assists patients in communicating better and creating healthier connections with others around them, thereby promoting suitable techniques to help fight compulsive eating behavior. It normally entails 16–20 hour-long one-on-one therapeutic sessions spread out over 4 to 5 months.

  • Modified dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)

  • This treatment focuses mostly on improving patients' emotion management abilities, mindfulness, and self-acceptance. It is a blend of CBT and mindfulness meditation methods, with up to 20 group and/or private sessions lasting two hours weekly.

Binge Eating Disorder: Other Concerns

When BED co-occurs with obesity, it is debatable whether it is best to address the physical concerns associated with obesity (that is weight loss) or the psychological issues associated with BED behavior first. Wilson et al. (2010) discovered that, when compared to other behavioral weight reduction treatments, IPT and self-help based CBT were more successful in generating recovery from binge eating behavior in obese individuals two years following treatment.

Binge Eating Disorder: What Assistance Is Available To You?

CBT Therapists, Mindfulness Coaches, and Psychotherapists are available at Manor Clinic to assist you in overcoming binge eating behavior.


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