You can stop binge eating with support from family and friends, and help from a mental health professional. Here are some of your therapeutic options if you’re trying to stop binge eating.
1. Interpersonal Psychotherapy
In interpersonal psychotherapy, you’ll talk with a therapist about the personal and emotional problems that cause you to overeat compulsively. You’ll work on developing closer, more loving relationships with family and friends, and on developing good communication skills. The urges to binge eat become less powerful and less frequent as you learn to get the emotional support you need from others.
2. Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy combines elements of cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness meditation. Dialectical behavior therapy focuses on teaching you how to accept yourself, control your emotions and cope with stress. You’ll also face and overcome any counterproductive or unhealthy beliefs you may hold about food and eating, as well as your body shape and size. With this form of therapy, you’ll undergo both group and individual sessions.
3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you to overcome the thoughts and behaviors that cause binge eating by helping to make you more self aware of the relationship between your emotions and your eating habits. You may be asked to keep a diary of your thoughts, feelings and beliefs about food, eating and body shape. Your therapist will help you identify thoughts that lead to binge eating and help you come up with a strategy to fight them. You’ll learn about nutrition and weight loss and may be asked to perform relaxation techniques.
4. Support Groups
Support groups are led by trained volunteers or health professionals, and they provide a forum where binge eaters can rely on each other for support as they struggle to overcome binge eating patterns. Members exchange advice and support. Support groups can be a helpful tool for those struggling to overcome binge eating.
5. Group Therapy
Group therapy sessions are different from support groups in that they are led by a trained psychotherapist, and you’ll talk about many of the same issues you talk about in individual therapy. Group therapy is also helpful in combination with other types of therapy.
There are a number of medications that can help those recovering from binge eating disorders, and these medications are often very helpful in combination with other types of therapy. Medications used for the treatment of binge eating disorders include:
- Topamax, an anti seizure drug that may reduce urges to binge eat and can help with weight loss, but also has serious side effects including fatigue and dizziness.
- Appetite suppressants, like Meridia, may weaken the urge to binge eat and help with weight loss.
- Antidepressants are often used successfully to treat those who suffer from binge eating disorder with bulimia.