Do you feel that you have no control over your weight and eating habits? This article on binge eating disorder treatment will help you understand how you can overcome your eating disorder and live life the way you want to.
“I don’t eat because I’m hungry… I’m just alone, I’m sad, and I’m depressed, but I know that no one will understand, all they would do is make fun of me and how I look. I eat because that’s what makes me feel better when others remind me how miserable I am… and this ends up making me feel much more miserable later on…“
We all are working day and night for three basic things, food, clothes, and shelter… food being one of the basic necessities of life. A normal human eats to fill his stomach, but a person suffering from binge eating disorder (also known as compulsive overeating disorder), eats to fulfill his emotions and not the stomach! Yes, that is right! People suffering from this disorder have no control over their eating habits, and the worst part is that they feel miserable about the fact that they are unable to resist their urge, which is not because they are hungry but because they are addicted to emotional eating! These people are deeply upset about their physical and emotional state and see food as their only source of relief. Binge eaters are trapped in a vicious cycle wherein they are unhappy about how they look (because of the overeating), they are extremely ashamed of their eating habits, and therefore they try to control their diet but end up failing all the time! As a result of this, they revert to eating food to get some emotional relief, which they get for a short period of time, but after they have gorged, they again end up feeling terrible about the fact that they have no control on themselves when it comes to food…, and the process keeps on repeating. It feels more like a rut that one is trapped in. Therefore, it becomes very important to start with the treatment as soon as possible, as these people may end up getting into severe depression as time passes by.
Binge Eating Disorder Symptoms
When a person suffers from this disorder, it’s not just the eating that is involved, there are many other things within or around that makes the person feel that food is the only resort to overcome the problems that he / she is dealing with, be it emotional or physical. Mentioned below are the symptoms. Have a look.
- No control over your eating habits and inability to determine when to ‘stop’!
- Eating huge portions of food even when the stomach is full.
- Lack of proper mealtimes and eating randomly all throughout.
- People with this eating disorder also tend to secretly hide food and gorge it later when alone. However, they tend to eat normally when they are around others because they are embarrassed about their eating habits.
- These people always feel tensed and depressed, and they think that food is the only source by which their agony can be relieved!
- They never enjoy what they eat and are numb most of the time.
- A desperate feeling to control their eating habits and lose weight!
- Always feeling disgusted and highly depressed out of guilt once they are done with overeating!
- The person is never satisfied with food no matter how much he / she has eaten. They will never say no to food!
- Constant depression and anxiety, usually due to a low self-esteem.
- Prefer to eat alone, mostly at night, when there is no one around.
- Constantly thinking about food or eating!
Treatment Options for Binge Eating Disorder
It’s not that people who are suffering from this disorder are not worried about themselves. In fact, they are always looking for ways to come out of this disorder but don’t get much support as they are too embarrassed to ask for help. The more they try to control themselves, the more worse the condition becomes, which ends up making them more depressed. As a matter of fact, studies show that the people who are suffering from binge eating disorders, may have a history behind them which could be related to physical abuse, sexual abuse during childhood, psychological depression resulting from loneliness or low self-esteem, or even additional pressure from the society in terms of eating habits and weight loss! Therefore it is best to take professional help from health professionals like therapists, eating disorder specialists, nutritionists, and even psychiatrists. Mentioned below are the different approaches to compulsive overeating treatment. Have a look.
Therapies for Treating Binge Eating Disorders
As mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons for a person to get into binge eating disorder is the feeling of loneliness and low self-esteem which leads to depression…, with makes the patient feel that food is the only way to feel better! The psychotherapies involved in the treatments focus to give support to the patients by helping them replacing their unhealthy eating habits with healthy ones. These therapies include,
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy helps in treating the psychological aspect related to binge eating disorder. However, if a person is looking for weight loss, additional treatments need to be accompanied with it. This treatment helps the patient overcome the low self-esteem and better self control when it comes to eating habits by making the person more aware of the food that he/she consumes by giving an in-depth knowledge about food nutrition, and techniques to relax the patient’s craving for food.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy: The dialectical behavior therapy is based on both individual, as well as weekly group therapy sessions. When combined with cognitive behavioral therapy, this therapy helps the patients to take control of their emotions and handle their stress levels in a much better way. This therapy also helps improve their relationships and behaviors with others which makes them feel less lonely and helps them in controlling their hunger!
Interpersonal Therapy: One of the reasons for binge eating is poor relationships which results in loneliness which leads to depression and eventually, too much eating. Interpersonal therapy helps the patient focus on their relationship issues with the people in their lives. This therapy helps the patient come out of their personal issues by helping them relate to other people around them which helps them overcome their loneliness by promoting communication in their personal relationships.
Medications for Binge Eating Disorder
Apart from the aforementioned therapies, there are certain medications that can help the patient control this disorder. These medications include the following.
Antidepressants: Consumption of certain antidepressants, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI antidepressants) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are used for controlling this disorder and also helps in soothing the mood of the patient.
Topamax: Doctors also use the anticonvulsant topiramate also known as Topamax to control binge eating. However, it is avoided in most cases as this medication has many side effects which involves feeling numb accompanied with a tingling/burning sensation, fatigue, and dizziness. The patient may also have troubles thinking properly.
Appetite Suppressants: This medication is specially used for suppressing the appetite of the person by reducing the frequency of binge eating episodes and thereby promoting weight loss.
Other Treatments for Binge Eating Disorder
Apart from the therapies and medications, there are other treatments and strategies that can help in treating and overcoming this disorder. There are many self-help books and videos that can inspire these people to overcome binge eating. Apart from that, there are many support groups which have members who are dealing with the same issue. These groups have professional trainers which help the members overcome this disorder. An enrollment into a weight loss program under the supervision of a medical professional would also help improve self-esteem and the morale of the patient.
Apart from the treatment, it is very important for the patients to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The love, support, and encouragement of the family members is of utmost importance. Also, the patient should get involved in physical activities and include the right nutrients in the diet. Binge eating disorder can be controlled and treated, all that is required, is the encouragement and the support from the people who are close to the patient. Good luck!