Is Your Child Binge Eating?
Guided Early Resolution of Stress Helps

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Binge eating is children’s cry for help. Avoid misunderstanding this cry as bad behavior.  Parents’ concerned guidance helps children resolve the stress of formative years early enough to prevent its long term undesirable impact at teenage. Open communication with parents improves children’s ability to adapt to changes and expectations encountered. However, advanced cases may need professional treatment.

Treatment of Binge Eating Disorder, BED 

Psychotherapy is the mainstay for treatment of compulsive eating disorder, and parents the best counselors. But unfortunately most parents are unaware: They do not suspect stress induced binge eating in a child who usually sulks alone, eats while watching television and gains weight more than expected for the age.     

CBT, Cognitive behavioral therapy:

Childhood development imposes immense changes and expectations through teenage to adulthood. Cognitive behavior therapy, as the name implies, is a form of psychotherapy that teaches methods to solve problems. It has shown good results over decades in treatment of phobias, anxiety disorders, childhood depression and panic attacks. It is also the most effective treatment for binge eating disorder. 

Principles of Cognitive Behavior Therapy

How does cognitive behavioral psychotherapy help?

Cognitive behavioral therapy enforces guided self help based on its principles as shown above. It reduces emotional distress, boosts self-esteem and brings down eating binge in more than 70% of the patients by:

  • Enhancing capability to adapt to different situations amicably.

  • Inducing positive thinking; look good in all.

  • Helping to recognize negative thoughts and correct them before they govern the mind.

  • Thinking out the cause and effect of situations on more realistic and constructive grounds.

  • Decentralizing the situations; all situations and acts are not focused on any one person.

  • Achieving targeted work; homework and day to day assignments with appropriate approach and behavior.

  • Role playing helps to understand other peoples’ reasons of views and behavior.

  • Refining the ability to divert problem creating situations.

  • Problem solving skills development.

  • Inducing mindfulness.

Bingers are sensitive and emotional by temperament.
They are very conscious of their compulsive eating practice and resultant
gain in body weight. Consequently, they impose strict diet restrictions and rigorous exercise schedule for themselves with little success.

Cognitive behavior therapy adds to the success of their behavioral weight loss regime. Self-achieved positive results along with minimized health care visits increase children and teens’ compliance towards the therapy.

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Interpersonal therapy, IPT

  • Low self-concept renders an obstacle in treatment of binge eating. 
    Interpersonal therapy is utilized to improve self-image of children and teenagers suffering from this compulsive eating disorder.

  • Interpersonal therapy gives good results in depressive disorders, but its effect on bingers has not been as impressive as that of CBT guided self help.

  • However, in contrast to cognitive behavior therapy, interpersonal therapy also gives relief in cases of compulsive eating who suffer from underlying childhood psychiatry disorder. 

Interpersonal therapy works on specific conflicts of an individual case.
As a result, resurfacing of symptoms is less commonly encountered in children who receive it. In this form of psychotherapy, a qualified psychotherapist deducts the interpersonal conflicts of the patient on the basis of information gathered from the interviews conducted. It would therefore be worthwhile to include interpersonal therapy along with cognitive behavioral therapy guided self help, only if patient’s compliance allows it. 

Role of medications in eating disorder

Medications play No role in most children who suffer from compulsive eating.
However, in cases of underlying significant disturbed psychology antidepressant, anti epileptic or anti-obesity medicines may be prescribed.

Never take any medications for binge eating without medical consultation.
Self medication with over the counter available anti-obesity medicines could be tempting, but please note that they do not work for obesity attributed to binge eating.

More on treatment for Eating Disorders at Anorexia Nervosa: Treatment

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