What Causes Binge Eating Disorder?

March 29, 2024

Experts say that 1.25% of adult women and 0.42% of adult men experience binge eating disorder in the United States alone. That’s about 3 million grown-up Americans—and we haven’t even begun to discuss how it affects minors. So, what causes binge eating disorder?

For many people, this type of behavioral disorder occurs when they ingest excessive amounts of food in a single sitting. Even when full, they feel like they can’t stop eating.

So, are you one of those people who regularly overeat? If that’s the case, you need to recognize your symptoms on time and seek instant help to prevent disaster. Our Georgia mental health facility can help you.

Understanding Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder (BED) is a mental illness that is displayed as a behavioral disorder. We can also define BED as a loss of control over how much food people consume.

As a result, those with BED may experience the following problems in their daily lives:

  • Obesity
  • Constipation
  • Tiredness
  • Bloatedness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Coupled together, these issues can harm individuals over long periods, impacting their psychological and physical health.

That is, if quick action isn’t taken.

A woman eating unhealthy food
Binge eating disorder can have harmful effects, like plunging into food too often

Although the most common of all eating disorders, BED has a few siblings as well. They include:

  • Night eating syndrome—where people who suffer from it regularly overeat during the night
  • Anorexia nervosa—a condition in which people avoid food or drastically restrict food intake
  • Bulimia nervosa—marked by recurrent episodes of taking in excessive amounts of food, followed by forced vomiting
  • Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder—a condition where individuals limit the type or amount of food they ingest
  • Rumination disorder—where the person repeatedly regurgitates food after eating, like reswallowing, rechewing, or spitting it out
  • Other specified feeding or eating disorders (OSFED)—eating disorders that don’t meet the criteria of the others listed above fall under this category

As a rule of thumb, they all cause large distress in occupational, social, and other important areas of life.

Causes of Binge Eating Disorder

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and other relevant resources, the causes of binge eating disorder are a blend of:

  • Genetic predispositions, i.e., what genes you got from your parents and others in your lineage
  • Thought patterns about how (dis)satisfied you are with your shape and weight
  • Emotional dysregulation or difficulties in managing emotions or using food to soothe negative emotions
  • Social and cultural influences in your environment, i.e., if people in your surroundings shame you for what and how much you eat
  • Substance abuse, meaning that those who have already had issues abusing substances could be an easy target of BED
  • Trauma or stressful life events, where people with severe trauma in the past have a potential to fall prey to binge eating disorder

Now you understand what causes binge eating disorder. But it’s more complicated than that.

For example, some people skip meals, avoid certain kinds of foods, or don’t eat enough food. As a result, they are potential candidates for binge eating disorders as well.

Similarly, stress and anxiety constitute some of the most pressing causes of binge eating disorder. If it is stress and anxiety that cause your harmful eating patterns, you will likely need anxiety treatment in Georgia. It’s paramount to understand the underlying causes of your eating patterns to get the most effective treatment.

A man eats a seemingly delicious hamburger, representing what causes binge eating disorder
What causes binge eating disorder? The answer is not always simple.

Binge Eating Disorder Symptoms

You or others in your close surroundings may suffer from binge eating disorder if they:

  • Eat unusually large amounts of food in short intervals
  • Feel a lack of control over how much and when they eat
  • Ingest foods a lot faster than how fast they usually eat
  • Hide food and eat in secret or alone
  • Experience drastic weight changes often
  • Withdraw themselves from social situations
  • Feel shame, guilt, or distress due to their food intake

If you’ve recognized yourself or your loved ones, that’s a major red flag!

So, we encourage you to find a supportive environment for yourself or your loved one who’s been affected by a binge eating disorder.

Mental Health Services and Treatment Options for BED in Georgia

Mental health services can help anyone struggling to cope with their binge eating disorder.

For example, suppose you’re seeking Georgia mental health services or those in other parts of our country. In this case, you should know that a range of time-tested and expert-infused treatments exist, including:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)—a treatment option that helps patients change how they think and behave
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)—a branch of CBT, DBT is a way to treat binge eating disorder by teaching the afflicted person how to accept their most intense emotions
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT)—a treatment option that allows patients to improve relationships with those in their everyday life
  • Medication—when appropriate, some people may opt for getting FDA-approved drugs to improve their mental health and address their BED

But all these techniques and treatments only make up one side of the coin.

For illustration, other benefits of outpatient mental health facilities in Georgia include:

  • Involving the afflicted person’s family in the treatment process
  • Inviting the client to participate in their community and get together with others
  • Helping the person write resumes and get a job by participating in job fairs
  • Providing resources for getting the client back to school if they’ve abandoned schooling due to body shaming or other reasons

As a starting point for finding comprehensive care, seek out a Georgia mental health facility to treat your BED!

A patient and a therapist talking about what causes binge eating disorder
Finding the underlying cause of binge eating disorder is necessary for effective treatment.

Take BED Seriously and Treat It ASAP

Binge eating disorder is a complex issue—a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors. So, don’t try to fix it yourself.

Instead, seek professional help and effective mental health treatment. To that effect, Time Wellness Georgia can quickly provide support and guidance, including:

  • Individualized treatment plans
  • Psychological support
  • Behavioral change
  • Relapse prevention

Failure to act quickly may result in terrible consequences.

If you know anyone suffering from a binge eating disorder or you have found yourself in the midst of it, get help from one of the best Georgia mental health facilities now!