Binge Eating Disorder

Treatment at Cottonwood Tucson

About Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating is the most common clinical eating disorder. In the majority of cases, it’s frequently associated with mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, as well as severe trauma and childhood and adult obesity. Both women and men suffer from binge eating behavior.

What Defines BED?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders classifies binge eating disorder (BED) as:

  • “Eating, in a discrete period of time (within any two-hour period) an amount of food that is definitely larger than what most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances.”
  • “A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode—a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control how much one is eating.”

Not all people who engage in binge eating behavior are obese, but nearly two-thirds of those diagnosed with BED also have clinical obesity.

Symptoms of BED include:

  • Indulging in large quantities of food even when not hungry
  • Eating alone to avoid embarrassment about the amount consumed
  • Ignoring feelings of fullness or satiety
  • Eating rapidly
  • Feeling depressed, disgusted, guilty, or shamed afterward

A BED diagnosis is based on whether someone indulges in these behaviors at least once a week for 90 days or more.

Unfortunately, the compulsion of binge eating is difficult to control, as the pattern hyper-stimulates the brain’s reward center similar to drugs or alcohol.

Quality BED Treatment & Support

The behavioral health dietitians at Cottonwood Tucson guide people with binge eating disorder to a better quality of life.

First, personalized clinical assessments include consultations with our medical director and eating disorder therapists to form an official diagnosis of BED. Next, we design a safe and structured plan that acknowledges the whole person—not only to treat the physical characteristics of the disorder, but also to uncover and resolve psychological or emotional issues that often contribute to the condition, such as abuse, grief, or trauma.

Treatment enhancements may include cognitive behavioral therapy, mindful eating sessions, and holistic methods to achieve a healthy balance in the mind, spirit, and body.

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