What is Binge Eating Disorder?
Binge eating disorder (BED) is an eating disorder which is characterised by regular bouts of overeating where the individual feels out of control and powerless to stop even though they may be full or might not have been hungry to start with. Somebody with BED feels ashamed, guilty, and even disgusted after an episode of overeating but unlike bulimia the individual does not purge or ‘counteract’ the binge afterwards. Binge eaters are highly self-critical for losing control, which in turn diminishes their self-esteem and lowers their mood causing them to comfort-eat to relieve their anxiety and improve their mood.
Our Psychologists have extensive experience in providing treatment to help people overcome Binge Eating Disorder (BED). With binge eating, a vicious circle arises in which a person overeats because of stress, emotional difficulties, or other common triggers, then feels upset and guilty because of the binge, but turns back to food to make them feel better. Therefore professional treatment should be sought as soon as the disorder is recognised as these regular episodes of uncontrollable binge eating lead to weight gain and obesity, which has, in the long-term, serious consequences for the physical and mental health of the individual.
How We Can Help
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy:
Cognitive Behavioural therapy can be helpful in the treatment of BED to challenge any dysfunctional thoughts, attitudes, eliminate behaviours associated with binge eating, and learn ways to overcome the compulsion that leads to binge eating. Treatment will also focus on pinpointing the different emotions or events that generally trigger the episodes of binge eating so that you can prepare to resist the compulsion.
The Psychologist will also work on strategies with you to help you manage your stress more efficiently as well as helping you to deal with your emotions in a healthier manner. Interpersonal psychotherapy may also be included in treatment to improve the relationships in your life if relationship difficulties are found to be one of the triggers of your binge eating. Treatment will also include advice on education on nutrition and how to lose weight in a healthy way. As treatment progresses you will notice your compulsions to eat become weaker and occur less often and eventually you will be able to resist them completely and you will have defeated your binge eating disorder.
Find out more about cognitive behaviour therapy here.