First identified in 2013, binge eating disorder (BED) is the newest eating disorder to be formally recognized and added to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It is a psychiatric illness that affects millions of people worldwide and can have serious ramifications if left untreated. Unfortunately, people often misjudge BED as a simple “lack of willpower” or an uncontrolled desire for food. At our adolescent binge eating disorder treatment center we explain that that’s far from the truth.
What are the Symptoms of BED?
People with BED exhibit certain behaviors and experience certain emotional states that help identify the illness. They include:
- Recurring episodes involving the consuming of larger quantities of food than a person without the condition would
- Consuming large portions in a relatively short period of time
- Feelings of being out of control while eating
- Intense feelings of guilt and shame about the quantity of food consumed
- Secretive eating because of embarrassment about the quantity of food consumed
- Feelings of depression and hopelessness
Clearly, BED differs in many ways from normal overeating, which most people experience from time to time. The behaviors associated with binge eating disorder negatively impact a person’s overall quality of life and can also have serious physical consequences.
While not all people affected by BED are overweight or obese, those who are are at risk of a number of physical complications including:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Sleep apnea
Getting Help for Binge Eating Disorder
The first step in getting treatment for BED — and often the hardest — is understanding that it is a diagnosable and treatable eating disorder. Overcoming the misconceptions about BED and the accompanying guilt and shame is difficult, but with determination and the support of loved ones it can be done. And the good news is that BED can be effectively treated. The most effective treatments generally involve cognitive behavioral therapy and in some cases may include medication. Treatment may be provided in a group setting, individually, or in a combination of the two.
With the guidance of counselors at our adolescent binge eating disorder center, you can get on the path to recovery from BED. Call us today to learn more about our programs: 916-784-1120.