Teen Binge Eating Disorder is an eating disorder in which teens regularly over-eat or “binge-eat,” as a way of trying to mask and/or deal with difficult feelings of stress, anxiety, and/or depression. Teens with Binge Eating Disorder don’t have control over when they eat or how much, but chronically over-eat, regardless of hunger or need for food.
Teens with Binge-Eating Disorder often experience cycles of binge-eating, followed by periods of guilt and shame, and these negative feelings lead to more binge-eating, as a form of self-medicating. This causes teens to feel increasingly negative and shameful about themselves.
Underneath the eating habits themselves, teens with Binge-Eating Disorder often have the combination of a negative self-image and significant stress and/or emotional angst that they’re wrestling with, which is what they’re trying to gain relief from, in the first place. In this respect, it’s very common for teens to have Binge-Eating Disorder along with a Co-Occurring Disorder, such as a Mood Disorder, like Anxiety or Depression. In severe cases, teens will over-eat to the point where they can gain significant amounts of weight which can even lead to health problems and illnesses. However, because the teens eating habits are compulsive, even when faced with significant consequences, they still have no ability to moderate or reduce what they eat. Because of teens’ feelings of shame and guilt about eating, it’s not uncommon for them to hide their behaviors and/or carry out some of their eating in secret.
Teen Treatment for Binge-Eating Disorder involves supporting teens to successfully address and change their unhealthy eating habits, as well as simultaneously working with them to address the underlying feelings of emotional and mental distress, which is leading to the over-eating. While at first, teens can experience significant challenge while changing eating habits, by supporting teens through the process of creating both a new way of eating and new techniques to deal with their stress, they can often begin experiencing some relief relatively quickly. In order to ensure that teens are prepared and equipped to continue healthy eating, treatment also includes aspects of nutrition and exercise.
Furthermore, by working with teens to thoroughly help them address the underlying emotional underpinnings of their eating habits, they can gain recognize and understand the connections between what they’re experiencing mentally and emotionally and when they’re over-eating. This realization is hugely important for teens, so that they see the importance of addressing that underlying stress, as well as beginning to understand that eating does not, ultimately, relieve them of the stress. By working with teens to make substantial progress in reducing stress and alleviating anxiety, the emotional relief they feel will make them more free to eliminate their binge-eating habits.
Lastly, it’s also important during treatment for therapists to work with teens on identifying the negative self-image issues, and feelings of guilt and shame. Again, by helping teens to identify and work through these feelings, therapists can help teens to regain a positive sense of self and continue adding positive practices into their lives, in order to feel more confident, in all areas of their lives.
Paradigm New York:
At Paradigm New York, we provide teen treatment for all Eating Disorders, including Teen Binge-Eating Disorder. Located in a beautiful, house-like setting, just outside of New York City, Paradigm New York takes a holistic approach to Binge-Eating Disorder treatment, including implementing treatment to address the emotional, physical, mental, social, and spiritual aspects of the teens’ lives. Paradigm New York is one of the leading teen treatment centers for eating disorders in New York, as well as the United States.