Binge eating disorder is an eating disorder that not many people talk about. Stuffing your face with an entire gallon of ice cream or an entire pizza due to a recent breakup or some other emotional distress may not be the healthiest way to express emotional distress, but it certainly is not the same as binge eating in teens. Binge eating disorder is a serious mental health issue which is characterized by the consumption of large amounts of food in a very short period of time while feeling like these behaviors are out of your control.
What does binge eating in teens look like?
Unlike anorexia and bulimia, “purging” is not a characteristic of binge eating in teens. Most people struggling with binge eating disorder are overweight or obese. There are those, however, who control their weight through dieting.
Binge eating in teens usually occurs over a set period of time (for example, an individual may binge for 2 hours each time). Binge eaters feel like their eating is out of control during those periods of time. Some describe the experience as trance-like. They can’t stop themselves no matter how hard they try.
Like other eating disorders, binge eating disorder can be influenced negative thoughts about one’s body and stress. No one knows the exact cause of binge eating teens, but other risk factors include:
- Family history: If someone else in your family suffers from binge eating disorder or another eating disorder, you are more likely to develop one yourself.
- Dieting: People who have dieted frequently in the past are more at risk for binge eating disorder than infrequent dieters.
- Being a teenager or in your 20s: The age group that is the most at risk for binge eating disorder is late teens through 20s.
Binge eating in teens is linked to psychiatric disorders like bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and substance use.
Getting treatment for binge eating in teens
Binge eating in teens is a serious mental health issue that should be diagnosed and treated as soon as parents see the signs. Medication and talk therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, have been known to be effective treatments for this disorder.
Sending your teen to an inpatient residential treatment facility after most of their symptoms have been treated might be the next step you teen needs to make a full recovery.
Solstice East can help
Solstice East, a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-17, can help your struggling daughter find success. Solstice East help girls struggling with depression, mild disordered eating, anxiety, and trauma-related issues.
For more information about Solstice East, please call (855) 672-7058.