Binge Eating Disorder Treatment
Signs and Symptoms
Binge Eating Disorder involves recurrent binge-eating episodes, where objectively large amounts of food are consumed, and which exhibit at least three of the following characteristics:
a) eating is faster than usual
b) eating continues beyond the point of fullness
c) eating when not hungry
d) episodes take place when one is alone, or in secret
e) feelings of guilt, remorse, shame succeed eating
f) eating being experienced as out-of-control or happening under the influence of another 'force', which has taken over the individual
The difference between binge eating disorder (BED) and bulimia nervosa, where overeating episodes are also present, is that in BED there are no compensatory weight-control behaviours (purging, laxatives, starving) used, even though the sufferers do experience their eating behaviour as abnormal, are extremely concerned about themselves and desperate to gain control over their eating habits. As a result of regular overeating episodes, BED sufferers tend to be overweight or obese, whereas the gender ratio is much more even than in anorexia and bulimia.
The vicious circle in BED
Just like in all other eating disorders, binge-eating develops as a coping mechanism; a way for sufferers to deal with painful or challenging emotions or situations in their lives, or to satisfy other, fundamental unmet needs. The problem with this behaviour, however, apart from the physical aspect of excessive eating and weight gain, is that, though providing momentary relief and escape from unbearable emotional situations, the negative, self-deprecating feelings it triggers, in response to overeating, lead to further episodes, thus perpetuating a vicious circle of emotional turmoil.
Physical and psychological consequences of BED include reactive hypoglycaemia, exhaustion of the adrenal glands, leading to fatigue, lethargy and mental confusion, depression and low self-esteem, whereas prolonged binge-eating has been associated with the development of conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, etc.
Recovery is possible - Steps to healing
Nevertheless, recovery is possible, as the body's self-healing powers are extraordinary, when the appropriate kind of multidisciplinary, multidimensional support is provided. In the initial stages in therapy, we are primarily concerned with identifying the role food plays in the person's life and the meaning that is attached to it, while exploring more effective and wholesome ways to regulate emotions, self-soothe and care for one's needs and desires. At the same time, we are looking at and working on the fundamental causes and underlying issues in the client's life as a whole, so as for substantial healing to take place on all levels.
If you think that you are suffering from Binge Eating Disorder and are ready to take the first step towards recovery, health and well-being, or if you feel ambivalent about reaching out, or would like to discuss any concerns regarding your challenges and how I could be of help, please call me on 07450256556 or contact me through the form below.