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BINGE EATING DISORDER IN TEENS
Binge eating disorder (BED) is when a young person excessively overeats in one sitting. An adolescent who binge eats may do so at mealtime, or anytime of the day, even when they may not be hungry.
This behavior will occur in a teen that has binge eating disorder at least once a week, over the span of three or more months. BED is a psychological disorder, as when the teen is binging he or she will be unable to stop and will subsequently feel shame, sadness, and or guilt due to his or her lack of controlled eating habits. Additionally, there are several health complications that can be a direct result of BED. Unlike other eating disorders, a teenager who binge eats will not purge (vomit, over exercise, abuse laxatives or diuretics… etc.) after binging. This can lead to severe physical consequences such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and more. Though it will be a lifelong recovery process, fortunately, nowadays, there are many treatment options for a young person with binge eating disorder.
Signs & Symptoms
It is highly common for a teenager who has binge eating disorder to attempt to binge in private. Therefore, it is essential to be on the lookout for the following signs:
• Noticeable weight fluctuations
• Eating in secret
• Low self-esteem/ low self-worth
• Skipping meals
• Finding hidden food in unusual places
• Eating excessive amounts of food in a short period of time
• Continuing to eat, even when painfully full
• Inability to feel satiated
• In extreme cases, suicidal ideations
Some of the above signs may fall into the scope of normalcy during certain periods of a teenager’s life. If any of the above signs are persistent, lasting three months or more, it may be beneficial to seek guidance. The most imperative thing to be mindful of is any changes in your adolescent’s behavior and or personality. The sooner a young person with an eating disorder is treated, the better.
Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder
Each person is different, and there is no single way to treat a teen with binge eating disorder. At Pacific Teen Treatment, we create uniquely tailored treatment plans for all of our residents. The treatment plan for a young person with binge eating disorder will take into account many different factors to help the teenager learn healthy coping methods to deal with the triggers that set off binges. Depending on the young person’s specific treatment plan, some of the therapeutic modalities we offer include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), individual talk therapy, and group therapy. Education regarding healthy nutrition is essential for a young person struggling with any type of eating disorder. Shifting one’s relationship with food will be challenging, but is essential for one’s treatment. For this reason, regularly working with a nutritionist will be an integral component of a young person’s treatment plan at Pacific Teen Treatment.
Furthermore, integrating new and healthy pastimes into a young person’s life during treatment is greatly beneficial. This will also create a solid foundation for healthy activities and hobbies to engage in, post treatment. At Pacific Teen Treatment, we encourage our residents to participate in various relaxation methods such as meditation and yoga. We also encourage regular, daily exercise for all of our teens. With proper treatment, a young person can recover from binge eating disorder can go on to live a happy and fulfilling life.
Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. In order to maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.
Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Seeking support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
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