Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder
While many medications may be prescribed for symptoms related to binge eating disorder, only two drugs — fluoxetine (Prozac) and lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (Vyvanse) have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of binge eating disorder. These medications have been found to decrease the number of binge episodes in people with moderate to severe binge eating disorder. They are often prescribed in conjunction with psychotherapy, because medications can help in a synergistic, complementary manner to other treatment methods.
Some doctors may also prescribe medications like sertraline (Zoloft) or paroxetine (Paxil), which are approved for depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). These drugs are prescribed to help decrease feelings of depression and the obsessive thoughts toward food or a person’s weight that sometimes occur in people with BED,
At appropriate doses (similar to those used for OCD treatment), antidepressants have been found to decrease the strength of urges to binge for some individuals. Individuals with a positive response to these medications have reported a lessening of their carbohydrate cravings, which appears to help prevent binging.
Residential Treatment Facilities for Binge Eating Disorder
Residential treatment facilities offer a complete array of treatment services in one place.
One place where all of the above treatment options are available is called a residential treatment center. Such treatment centers are located throughout the United States and in many other countries as well, and focus on the treatment of all the different types of eating disorders (including binge eating disorder). Such facilities usually include a wide range of specialists — psychologists, medical doctors, nutritionists, meditation and relaxation professionals, and fitness experts. They help a person learn all of the skills necessary (through the cognitive-behavioral techniques outlined above), and put them into daily practice in a safe, relaxed setting.
Often these kinds of treatments may be paid for by an individual’s private health insurance, for up to a certain period of time (often 30 days). Check with your health insurance provide to see if such coverage is available for you.
There is little scientific research that demonstrates residential treatment centers improve patient outcomes for people with binge eating disorder. The disorder is just as properly treated in an outpatient setting.
Self-Help for Binge Eating Disorder
There are a variety of self-help methods available for eating disorders, including binge eating disorder. Self-help support groups are a great way of getting emotional support while trying to make changes in one’s life to support a healthier self-image and eating behaviors. Self-help books on binge eating disorder can be a great place to start to gain some insights and tips on changing one’s self-image and disordered eating.
Since many people with binge eating disorder use food as a coping skill for dealing with negative emotions, finding other, healthier coping skills may be a good place to start.
Our positive self-image and eating issues blog Weightless is a great place to find more tips on improving your coping skills and self-image. However, you can also start with these tips about how to improve your body image from the Something Fishy website:
- Wear clothes you feel comfortable in – Dress to express yourself, not to impress others. You should feel good in what you wear.
- Stay away from the scale – If your weight needs to be monitored, leave that up to the doctors. How much you weigh should never affect your self-esteem.
- Stay away from fashion magazines – Unless you can look through these magazines knowing they are purely fantasy, it’s just better to stay away from them.
- Do nice things for your body – Get a massage, a manicure, or a facial. Pamper yourself with a candlelight bath, scented lotion, or a new perfume.
- Stay active – Movement therapy helps improve your sense of wellbeing. Take up Yoga or Tai’ Chi, play volleyball with the kids, or bike ride with friends. Make angels in the snow or sandcastles at the beach. Be active and enjoy life!
Grohol, J. (2016). Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 22, 2017, from https://psychcentral.com/lib/treatment-for-binge-eating-disorder/