Did you know the most common eating disorder is not anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa? The eating disorder that affects most Americans, 6 to 8 million people, is binge eating disorder. Individuals who have binge eating disorder typically eat large amounts of food in a very short period of time, often experiencing feelings of lack of control. This action is called a binge, but unlike some other eating disorders, those with this condition do not purge their food or exercise too much. This is a very serious health problem that can carry severe health issues. However, with the help of specialized binge eating disorder treatment from Oliver-Pyatt Centers, people can get better and achieve full recovery.
What Is Binge Eating Disorder?
Binge eating disorder or BED is a very serious mental health condition that involves dangerous eating behaviors. If BED is left untreated, the condition can lead to other serious health issues and sometimes even death. The American Psychiatric Association states individuals with BED binge at least one to three times per week, eating large amounts of food much more quickly than normal. These binges are typically accompanied by feelings of shame, guilt and disgust. Those with the disorder can also experience feelings of depression and anxiety.
Who Is At Risk for BED?
While BED can affect people of all ages, genders and social backgrounds; more than three percent of women in the United States will develop BED at some point in their lives. In fact, research shows that more than half of the Americans who have this type of eating disorder are women. BED is also the most common eating disorder among Hispanic, African American and Asian American women.
Most experts agree there are a number of different genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the development of BED. Some of these causes may include:
- Past trauma
- Yo-Yo dieting
- Stress, depression or anxiety (co-occurring disorders)
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- Low self-esteem or negative body image
For those interested in binge eating treatment, it is important to find an experienced eating disorder treatment center in an effort to reduce the effects of binge eating and the risk of developing co-occurring mental health problems.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of BED?
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of BED include:
- Fluctuating weight
- Eating meals faster than normal
- Eating large meals even when not physically hungry
- Hiding or hoarding food
- Eating alone or in hiding
- Feeling depressed, guilty or disgusted after a binge
- Anxiety or substance abuse
Binge Eating Treatment Options
Binge eating disorder treatment is similar to other eating disorder treatment programs as the main goal is to help patients explore and challenge their disordered thoughts and behaviors and learn more positive coping skills. People interested in binge eating treatment can choose from several different levels of care including intensive outpatient treatment and residential programs.
The effects of binge eating can be long-lasting, making early intervention very important. If patients begin treatment sooner rather than later, they may be able to avoid some of the more negative effects of binge eating including obesity, heart disease, diabetes and more.
Oliver-Pyatt Centers: Binge Eating Treatment Programs
At Oliver-Pyatt Centers, we offer a comprehensive binge eating disorder treatment program designed to provide patients the tools they need to overcome their disordered behaviors and embrace life in recovery.