Recognizing & Treating Binge Eating Disorder: How to Get Help for Yourself or a Loved One

Recognizing Treating

Eating disorders are a serious and potentially deadly issue that can affect people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. Binge eating disorder (BED) is one of the most common eating disorders and can be both physically and psychologically damaging. If you or someone you care about is struggling with BED, it’s important to recognize the signs and get the help you need. This article will go over how to recognize BED, available treatment options, and how to get help for yourself or a loved one.

What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge eating disorder (BED) is an eating disorder where a person engages in episodes of compulsive overeating often accompanied by feelings of guilt, shame and distress. During a binge, someone with BED may eat large amounts of food in short periods of time, often despite feeling full. BED often leads to physical and health problems, including obesity, diabetes, kidney problems, and heart disease.

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Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder

When it comes to recognizing the signs of binge eating disorder, it’s important to understand that there is no single symptom. Rather, it’s a pattern of behaviors that indicate a need for help.

Physical Symptoms:

  • Unintentional weight gain or obesity
  • Taking frequent trips to the bathroom after eating
  • Dehydration

Behavioral Symptoms:

  • Eating to cope with stress
  • Isolating or avoiding social situations
  • Obsessively counting calories

Emotional Symptoms:

  • Feelings of guilt, shame, or helplessness
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Low self-esteem

Treating Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder is a complex condition that requires comprehensive treatment, including counseling, lifestyle modification, and medication, if necessary. Treatments for BED may include a combination of:


Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), can help patients identify triggers for binge eating and learn healthier coping strategies.

Lifestyle Changes:

Making lifestyle changes, such as getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet, can help those with BED develop healthier eating habits and gain control of their disorder.


In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help manage anxiety and other emotional issues related to BED.

Getting Help for Binge Eating Disorder

If you or someone you care about is struggling with BED, the first step is to talk to a doctor or mental health professional. A doctor can assess your condition, diagnose BED, and recommend the best course of treatment.

The National Eating Disorders Association is also a great resource for those struggling with BED, as well as friends and family members who may want to offer support. The organization provides information about BED, treatment options, and resources for finding help.

The Bottom Line

Binge eating disorder is a serious and potentially deadly condition that affects both the physical and mental health of those who suffer from it. If you or someone you care about is struggling with BED, it’s important to recognize the signs and get the help you need. With the right treatment, it is possible to manage BED and lead a healthy, happy life.

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