Binge Eating Disorder - Treatment Overview
binge eating disorder includes counseling and
sometimes medicine. Goals in treating binge eating often include:
Most people with binge eating disorder need treatment, but
many people who have an
eating disorder try to keep it secret or deny that
they have a problem. Some might join weight management programs to lose weight
but do not seek treatment for binging or for mental health problems related to
the condition. It often is a family member or friend who convinces the person
to seek treatment.
If you think that you or someone you know
might have an eating disorder, talk to your doctor. Signs of an eating disorder
that needs treatment include binges, concern or embarrassment about eating
behaviors, secretive eating habits, preoccupation with weight or body image, or
an unhealthy body weight because of eating problems.
Several types of
counseling can be useful in treating eating disorders.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy can help you control the urge to binge,
especially when combined with nutritional counseling and a weight-reduction
program.1 CBT often deals with learning how to eat a
balanced diet, because this is important to recovery. Forming more regular
eating habits can help reduce binging.
- Interpersonal therapy. This type of therapy can help you
examine any connection between your relationships and your symptoms of binge
- Dialectical behavior therapy.
This approach focuses on helping you manage emotions. By coping better with
life's challenges and your emotions, the binging behaviors may decrease. This
type of therapy helps reduce binging that is related to
- Group counseling. This can be used
to enhance individual therapy. Speaking with other people who have this
condition often can be helpful.
- Family therapy. Sometimes family members unknowingly
interfere with a loved one's recovery. Family therapy can help family members
learn about the disorder, get support, and eventually focus on dealing with
other family issues. Family therapy often is used as a part of treatment for
teenagers who have binge eating disorder. This type of therapy can help reduce
binging that is triggered by stress, tension, or relationship problems.
Antidepressants sometimes are used in the treatment of
binge eating disorder. They may reduce episodes of binge
eating and they may help with related
Topiramate (Topamax), which is a
medicine used to treat seizures and chronic pain, is sometimes used to reduce the urge to binge.
What To Think About
Medicines and counseling may help
you quit binging and lose excess weight. But this will take some time and
patience. Some people find that they still have trouble losing excess weight,
even after they stop binging. Talk to your doctor about what results are
realistic to expect from treatment.
Unfortunately, many people don't seek treatment for mental health
problems. You may not seek treatment because you think the symptoms are not bad
enough or that you can work things out on your own. But getting treatment is
If you need help deciding whether to see your doctor,
read about some reasons why people don't get help and how to