What is Binge Eating Disorder?
Binge eating disorder (BED) is one of the most widespread of all eating disorders and affects 1% to 5% of Americans. For years it was classified as a medical condition, but in 2013, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V), included BED in their material as a genuine eating disorder.
The "textbook" definition of binge eating disorder is:
- eating, in a discrete period of time (for example, within any two-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances, and
- a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (for example, a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating)
What Causes Binge Eating Disorder?
Psychological variables such as low self-esteem, depression and anxiety can trigger BED. Genetic predisposition, a close relative with an eating disorder or drug addiction or the metabolic disturbances caused from chronic dieting can also be contributing factors.
What Are the Complications of Binge Eating Disorder?
When people have BED, they frequently act impulsively. They feel ineffective and alienated and may be haunted by perfectionism. Individuals with BED are at higher risk of developing other illnesses, including anxiety disorder, cardiovascular symptoms, chronic fatigue, depression, infectious diseases and insomnia.
How Do You Treat Binge Eating Disorder?
Holistic, integrative treatment is particularly effective for binge eating disorder. Through a combination of individual psychotherapy, process groups and alternative interventions, clients can identify the root causes of the disorder and develop new skills for coping with emotional distress.
- Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on increasing awareness of how food is used to deal with emotion and developing skills to avoid or combat binge eating triggers.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) teaches mindfulness and encourages binge eaters to develop greater self-acceptance, regulate their emotions and develop a new "coping templates" that will enable them to identify problems and select healthier, alternative long-term solutions.
- Our nurse practitioners and physicians prescribe supplements to correct food allergies, nutritional imbalances and cravings.