Treatment for includes counseling and sometimes medicine. Goals in treating binge eating often include:
Most people with binge eating disorder need treatment, but many people who have an try to keep it secret or deny that they have a problem. Some might join weight management programs to lose weight but do not seek treatment for binging or for mental health problems related to the condition. It often is a family member or friend who convinces the person to seek treatment.
If you think that you or someone you know might have an eating disorder, talk to your doctor. Signs of an eating disorder that needs treatment include binges, concern or embarrassment about eating behaviors, secretive eating habits, preoccupation with weight or body image, or an unhealthy body weight because of eating problems.
Several types of can be useful in treating eating disorders.
- . This type of therapy can help you control the urge to binge,especially when combined with nutritional counseling and a weight-reductionprogram.1 CBT often deals with learning how to eat abalanced diet, because this is important to recovery. Forming more regulareating habits can help reduce binging.
- . This type of therapy can help youexamine any connection between your relationships and your symptoms of bingeeating.
- .This approach focuses on helping you manage emotions. By coping better withlife's challenges and your emotions, the binging behaviors may decrease. Thistype of therapy helps reduce binging that is related tostress.
- Group counseling. This can be usedto enhance individual therapy. Speaking with other people who have thiscondition often can be helpful.
- . Sometimes family members unknowinglyinterfere with a loved one's recovery. Family therapy can help family memberslearn about the disorder, get support, and eventually focus on dealing withother family issues. Family therapy often is used as a part of treatment forteenagers who have binge eating disorder. This type of therapy can help reducebinging that is triggered by stress, tension, or relationship problems.
Antidepressants sometimes are used in the treatment of binge eating disorder. Treatment with antidepressants can help reduce episodes of binging. It is useful in treating the depression that often occurs along with binge eating disorder.4
Topiramate (Topamax), which is a medicine used to treat seizures, is sometimes used to reduce the urge to binge and to promote weight loss in those who are overweight because of binge eating disorder.5
What To Think About
Medicines and counseling may help you quit binging and lose excess weight. But this will take some time and patience. Some people find that they still have trouble losing excess weight, even after they stop binging. Talk to your doctor about what results are realistic to expect from treatment.
FDA Advisory. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an advisory on antidepressant medicines and the risk of suicide. The FDA does not recommend that people stop using these medicines. Instead, a person taking antidepressants should be watched for warning signs of suicide. This is especially important at the beginning of treatment or when doses are changed.
Unfortunately, many people don't seek treatment for mental health problems. You may not seek treatment because you think the symptoms are not bad enough or that you can work things out on your own. But getting treatment is important.
If you need help deciding whether to see your doctor, read about some reasons why people don't get help and how to overcome them.