Occasional overeating is normal, for example during celebrations or when hanging out with friends. However, if done continuously, overeating can indicate a binge eating disorder. If left unchecked, this condition can have a negative impact on health.

Overeating Could Be Affected by Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder is an eating disorder characterized by feelings of guilt and discomfort after overeating, and this is done repeatedly.

In the long term, binge eating disorder will not only interfere with physical health, but also cause anxiety, depression, and increase self-confidence.

Treatment Options for Treating Binge Eating Disorder

The main goal of treating binge eating disorders is to stop binge eating habits, adopt a healthy diet, and overcome complications that have arisen due to binge eating, such as obesity.

In addition, treatment methods are also carried out to overcome psychological problems, among others, by increasing the patient’s self-confidence and eliminating the sufferer’s negative thoughts about himself.

The following are some methods of therapy that are generally used to treat binge eating disorders:

1. Cognitive behavioural therapy

Cognitive-behavioural therapy is the most common method and is believed to be the most effective for treating this disorder. Through this therapy, psychologists or psychiatrists try to analyze the relationship between negative thoughts that arise with eating behaviour.

After the analysis is done, the psychologist or psychiatrist will determine the best treatment strategy to change the binge eating disorder sufferer’s binge-eating behaviour.

Usually, sufferers will be trained to face their fears or anxiety gradually until self-confidence appears. That way, it is hoped that the patient will be able to give a positive response to conditions that can trigger him to overeat.

2. Interpersonal therapy (interpersonal psychotherapy)

This therapy is considered a mechanism for dealing with unresolved personal problems, such as grief, family conflicts, or problems in the social environment.

The purpose of interpersonal therapy is to find and recognize specific things related to overeating behaviour and develop treatment steps according to the cause. This therapy is generally carried out for 12-16 weeks.

Interpersonal therapy is considered effective for people with binge eating disorders who have low self-esteem or have poor communication skills.

3. Dialectical behavioural therapy

This type of behaviour therapy is done when binge eating disorder appears as a form of emotional reaction to something that the sufferer is unable to deal with.

Therefore, dialectical behaviour therapy aims to enable sufferers to better manage their emotions when facing problems. However, this therapy has not been shown to be more effective than cognitive or interpersonal behavioural therapy.

4. Weight management

Negative thoughts and feelings due to weight that is not ideal or not as desired is often a trigger for binge eating disorder. Therefore, people with this disorder are advised to undergo weight management.

This method can be done by exercising regularly and setting a healthy diet. Weight management can be done with the help of a nutritionist and sports medicine specialist.

5. Drugs

Anticonvulsants, antidepressants, lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, and orlistat can be used to treat this eating disorder. These drugs are given according to a psychiatrist’s prescription.

Besides being able to relieve the urge to overeat, these drugs can also reduce complaints caused by mental disorders, such as depression or anxiety disorders.

Steps to Prevent Binge Eating Disorder

The following are some steps you can take to overcome or avoid binge eating disorder:

  • Never skip breakfast, as this will further increase your appetite at lunch or dinner.
  • Apply a healthy diet by eating foods high in protein and healthy fats, and increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables.
  • Get enough sleep and rest, because lack of sleep will make your eating pattern become irregular.
  • Regular exercise to maintain ideal body weight, increase confidence in body shape, and foster a positive mindset.
  • Reduce stress, for example with meditation or mindfulness techniques, to control your eating behavior and help you love yourself more.
  • Record your daily eating patterns in a diary to make it easier for you to evaluate eating behavior and detect whether there is a relationship between certain moods or events with eating behavior.
  • Talk about your eating disorder with your family or close friends, so you can get emotional support to recover from the disorder.

Not all binge eating behaviour is a sign of binge eating disorder. However, if you feel you can’t control the urge to overeat and this is already affecting your health and quality of life, you should consult a psychologist or psychiatrist.