Keys To Learning How To Stop Binge Eating

Binge eating is a difficult problem to conquer. Everyone needs food to live, and most people in developed countries have endless and easy-to-access supply of all kinds of foods. It's a simple matter to go to the store and buy enormous quantities of unhealthy foods. To make matters worse, some of the most unhealthy and high-calorie foods are also the least expensive. Yet, you don't have to continue on this often-disastrous path. Instead, you can find binge eating disorder treatment that helps you end the behavior and lose weight in the process.


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What Is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge eating can be a component of anorexia nervosa or bulimia. However, binge eating disorder is a new classification in the DSM-V. The prevalence of the disorder is only about 1%-3% of the general population, but over 25% of the people who seek treatment for weight loss have it. Among people with binge eating disorder, 65% are obese.

Some of the hallmarks of binge eating disorder (BED) include eating when alone, eating until uncomfortable, eating when not hungry, eating very quickly, and feeling depressed or guilty about eating too much. When you have binge eating disorder, you often eat enormous amounts of food at one time. This disorder does not include purging or excessive laxative use like anorexia or bulimia does, so weight gain can happen easily.


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There are at least two distinct groups of people who have the disorder - one group with very few other psychological problems and one with significant mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, anxiety or depression. The type of binge eating treatment needed depends on which group you fall into.

Approaches to Binge Eating Treatment

One approach to binge eating is to tackle the weight issues first. This helps the person with the disorder improve their self-esteem, which can naturally lead to motivation for changing the thinking and emotions behind it. This approach starts with a healthy eating plan, accountability for following that plan, and support as one go through the process.

The other option is to start with the psychological problems behind the binge eating before working on weight loss. The theory here is that once the mental health issues have been dealt with appropriately, the person will stop binge eating, which will also lead to weight loss. Interpersonal psychotherapy is often used to overcome the issues that result in binge eating. Binge eating medication can also be used along with the psychotherapy.

A third approach combines both types of treatment. This specialty binge eating disorder treatment was designed to address both problems at once, allowing the person with the disorder to reap both the physical and psychological benefits of both of the other types of treatment. Cognitive behavior therapy can address both the binge eating behavior and the psychological problems behind it.


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Medications for Binge Eating Disorder

Several medications have been used to help people with binge eating disorder. Although medications for underlying problems can help reduce the feeling of wanting to binge, they often have side effects that lead to weight gain. However, the medications used specifically for BED are carefully-chosen for their ability to help reduce weight. Currently, the main medications for binge eating disorder are Topiramate, Lisdesamfetamine, Serotenergic (SSRI) medications, an Sibutramine.

Topiramate

The primary use of Topiramate is as an antiepileptic agent. This medication also goes by brand names Topamax, Trokendi XR, and Quexy XR. It can be used in treating binge eating as well. In a research study, the Topiramate was more effective in reducing the frequency of binges and reducing weight than the placebo. Subjects of the test had few side effects; these included headaches and paresthesia.

Lisdexamfetamine

Lisdexamfetamine, also known by the brand name Vyvanse, has also been used primarily as a binge eating disorder medication. In a clinical trial of Lisdexamfetamine, people with binge eating disorder had reduced frequency of binges when given the 50- and 70-mg/d dose of this medication for binge eating.

SSRI's

SSRIs, also known as serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitors or serotonergic antidepressants, are primarily used for depression and anxiety. However, they can also be used to reduce the frequency of binges. Fluvoxamine goes by the brand names Luvox and Luvox CR.

A clinical drug trial of Fluvoxamine, showed the medication not only reduced the frequency of binges but also helped subjects lose more weight than with the placebo.

Sertraline, another SSRI, was shown effective in treating binge disorder. A clinical trial of Sertraline, showed reduction in the frequency of binges, the body mass index, and the severity of the disorder in subjects who had binge eating disorder.

Sibutramine

Sibutramine, with the brand name Meridia, is used primarily to treat obesity. However, it has also proven effective as a medication for binge eating. A clinical trial of Sibutramine showed that this medication reduced the binge eating behaviors as well as weight and the psychological problems associated with obesity.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy can be used with or without medications as a treatment for binge eating disorder. Interpersonal psychotherapy was originally designed to help with depression. It is also often helpful in treating BED, especially if troubled relationships are a trigger for the disorder. The Society of Clinical Psychology recommends a 20-week course of interpersonal psychotherapy for the treatment of binge eating.


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During the first sessions, you work with the therapist to identify interpersonal problems may result in binge eating. These may be disagreements revolving your role in a relationship, transitions from one role to another, problems forming and sustaining relationships, or grief over a loss you haven't yet fully accepted.

In the next sessions, the counselor guides you as you come up with practical ways of creating change within your relationships. Finally, you spend time discussing how you will maintain those changes and how to keep from relapsing.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) has been used for a wide range of psychological problems. When it's used to help you stop binge eating, the focus is on eating behaviors. One of the reasons CBT works as a treatment for binge eating is that it addresses the thinking patterns that are closely related to body weight.

Most people want to be thin and fear being overweight or obese. These ideas can cause extreme emotional stress in people with BED, aggravating their obsession with weight. Once they learn not to value people for other reasons besides their size and shape, the obsession and the depression or anxiety that results from it may be dramatically reduced.


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Cognitive behavior therapy that is specifically designed for people with binge eating disorder is known as CBT-BED. This therapy has proven effective for reducing symptoms of the disorder but not for reducing weight. Therefore, it is often used in conjunction with binge eating medications.

Some of the problems associated with binge eating can be solved readily to help you understand how to stop binge eating through cognitive behavior therapy for BED. This is partly because mood problems make it very difficult to control the impulses that lead to binge eating.

Therapists using CBT-BED can also teach you new coping skills to replace the coping mechanism of binge eating. Binge eating may also be more prominent whenever you are most socially withdrawn and lose interest in things that previously mattered to you. Cognitive behavior therapy can help you with both problems. Another type of cognitive behavior therapy, CBT-Enhanced, helps you improve your self-esteem, reduce perfectionism, and overcome interpersonal problems.

Getting Help for Binge Eating Disorder

Help with binge eating is available in your local community as well as online. You can receive paid psychotherapy for binge eating when you go online to BetterHelp.com. This method allows you to get therapy from a licensed and/or certified counselor in the comfort of your own home or anywhere that makes you feel safe and relaxed.


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Professional therapists at BetterHelp.com are available on your schedule and ready to help when you begin treatment for binge eating disorder; typically quicker than it might take you to be seen for your first visit with a local counselor. The sessions are private and held via a secure website. If you need to include group sessions with people you're in a dysfunctional relationship with, it's easy to take therapy to where they are or invite them to join you in your home.

Learning how to stop binge eating is more than just soaking up information. You must identify and deal with your own unique triggers first. You need to work out practical plans for reducing your unhealthy need to overeat. You also need to deal with the underlying causes of the disorder. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can learn how to stop binge eating and live a physically and emotionally healthier life.


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