Understanding Binge-Eating and Its Treatment

Binge-eating involves more than simply overeating. Binge-eating is an eating-related disorder, associated with inappropriate eating habits and challenging emotions. This article outlines what binge-eating is and how it can be successfully treated.

Binge-Eating Defined

Binge-eating is a medical and psychological condition during which a person eats large amounts of food over short periods of time. Regardless of the signals their bodies send that they’re full, those who binge continue to eat amounts of food that surpass normal portions.

Binge-eating involves more than just eating a double portion of a favorite food. Those who binge might eat 2 cheeseburgers followed by a half gallon of ice cream and a box of cookies.

Typical Thinking Patterns

One who binge-eats engages in unhealthy thinking patterns, which drive her to over-eat. She might feel powerless to arrest her aggressive eating behaviors. Even though you might believe a person would feel too ashamed to binge-eat, the fact is that shame can actually emotionally fuel a binge-eating episode.

Experiencing uncomfortable feelings such as self-loathing and shame is a hallmark symptom of someone who’s dealing with binge-eating. Many people who struggle with binging also have distorted body images. They might believe they’re obese when actually they’re within normal weight standards or only mildly overweight.

On the other hand, a person who binge-eats could also weigh considerably more than the weight charts recommend for her height and age.

Although the condition does occur in males, it occurs more often in females. Recognize that people who binge can discover optimism and confidence to live successful lives in recovery.

Treatments for Binge-Eating

If you battle binge-eating, there are a wide range of effective treatment regimens to help you rise above the condition.

Here are some beneficial treatment avenues:

1. Self-help groups. Depending on the community, you might have the opportunity to attend self-help groups to help reduce or stop incidents of binge-eating. Self-help groups such as Overeaters Anonymous can provide wonderful, understanding emotional support for people who struggle with binge-eating.

2. Individual cognitive therapy. For those who require more professional aid, attending individual therapy sessions can be quite helpful. Cognitive therapy is conducted by a trained therapist who works to confront the individual’s distorted body image, unhealthy thinking patterns, and feelings of shame.

* The therapist aids the person in replacing troublesome thoughts with more realistic, healthy, and positive thoughts. Encouraging the person who binge-eats to surround herself with understanding, supportive family and friends is another way a therapist motivates someone in recovery from this very real medical condition.

3. Family therapy. If the person who’s dealing with binging is a teen, family therapy in addition to individual therapy can be a life-saver to aid family members in better understanding what their teen is going through.

* Plus, difficult family relationships can be confronted and addressed so that everyone in the family learns to relate in healthier ways overall which can serve to reduce binging behavior.

4. Intensive day treatment. In the event you require more intensive treatment than individual therapy, family therapy, and self-help group attendance, intensive day treatment may be an option.

* These programs provide 2 to 6 hours of professional treatment for binge-eating 3 or more days a week. Such treatment typically takes place at eating disorders facilities that provide a cornucopia of treatment options that enable individuals on their paths to recovery.

5. Inpatient treatment stay. Sometimes, the person struggling with binge-eating would benefit from voluntarily entering an inpatient treatment facility for a 4-6 week stay. This milieu therapy provides a 100% supportive physical and emotional environment around the clock to ensure binge-eating behaviors subside and healthy eating habits increase.

* Outpatient follow-up treatment to provide much-needed support will be necessary as you transition back into your home environment.

Binge-eating is a medical/psychological condition that involves eating large amounts of food and experiencing emotional turmoil. People can and do overcome the challenging behaviors and feelings associated with binge-eating to embrace healthy, fulfilling lives.

The key to recovery is recognition of the condition and acquiring effective treatment while gaining caring support of friends and family members to live a well-deserved, rewarding life.