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Binge Eating Disorder Treatment in Los Angeles, CA

Most people engage in a few times in which they eat a lot of food quickly solely out of enjoying the taste or maybe an episode of stress eating. For others, it becomes a habitual act and actually happens because the person has developed a binge eating disorder. Binge eating disorder is one of the types of eating disorders and can cause physical and emotional damage to those who have one. Getting professional binge eating disorder treatment in Los Angeles helps a person understand what’s really behind this deceptive mental illness and go on to recover from it.

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What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge eating disorder is an eating disorder characterized by episodes of binge eating large amounts of food. Binge eating is defined as consuming a larger than normal amount of food during a two-hour period. The person usually feels out of control when binge eating, as if they cannot stop eating. They eat rapidly and often past the point of feeling uncomfortably full and often feel guilty and disgusted with themselves when they are done. The individual may occasionally attempt to purge afterward via self-induced vomiting, using laxatives, or other methods, but primarily they binge eat and do not attempt to rid themselves of the food.

Someone with a binge eating disorder may not even feel hungry when they engage in binge eating sessions. This is because an eating disorder isn’t truly about food or weight. Instead, it is a mental health disorder that involves using unhealthy coping skills to self-soothe or avoid feelings related to other issues or events in the person’s life. Because teenagers lack the life experience and adult insight to address what’s really going on, it can be easy to become reliant on binge eating as a way of self-medicating. Someone with this mental illness requires binge eating disorder treatment in Los Angeles in order to recover and become healthy in body and mind.

Anyone can develop a binge eating disorder, regardless of whether or not that person is normal weight, overweight, or obese. In fact, based on the body mass index (BMI), the majority of adults with binge eating disorder are not obese. Fifty-five percent are of normal weight or overweight and 45% are obese.

Girl at binge eating disorder treatment Los Angeles

Why Go to Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder?

While most people have heard of anorexia and bulimia, many do not realize that binge eating disorder is a diagnosable eating disorder, too. In fact, binge eating disorder affects three times the number of people who have anorexia and bulimia combined. Too often, people who binge eat think they just lack self-control and can be “cured” with self-control and the right diet. 

Binge eating disorder happens among all populations, including age, gender, race, and income levels. Adolescents are not immune to this potentially deadly eating disorder, with an estimated 1.6% of them qualifying as having a binge eating disorder. Getting a young person into binge eating disorder treatment in Los Angeles proves vital. Otherwise, the person continues to be vulnerable to declining physical and emotional health, and they may end up continuing their disorder well into their adult years.

How Does Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder in Los Angeles Work?

Treatment for binge eating disorders is similar to that of other eating disorders. While part of the treatment involves learning to give up the behaviors associated with this type of eating disorder, including binge eating, the real work comes in identifying the issues that caused an eating disorder to develop. 

In order to accomplish this, the individual should have access to several kinds of therapies. This includes individual, group, holistic, and family therapy. Additionally, two types of talk therapy are often used to help teenagers address and recover from binge eating disorders. These types are cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. 

Whatever combination of therapy modalities is used, the goal is to help each young person stop obsessing about their bodies, weight, and food. Instead, the focus moves to what the real issues are and how to use new, healthy coping skills to put the eating disorder in the past. This also teaches the individual to avoid relapsing after they leave binge eating disorder treatment in Los Angeles. 

Binge Eating Disorder Therapy

The goals of binge eating disorder treatment are to reduce a person’s eating binges so that he or she acquires healthy eating habits. Since binge eating is so entangled with feeling shame, poor self-esteem, and other negative feelings, binge eating disorder treatment often addresses these negative feelings along with any other mental health problems, such as depression. When you get help for binge eating, you’re able to learn how to feel more in control of your eating.


Also called talk therapy, psychotherapy can help teach you how to exchange unhealthy habits for healthy ones and reduce episodes of bingeing. During psychotherapy, you may engage in group therapy with other people who are going through the same binge-eating experience as you. You may also have just one-on-one confidential therapy sessions with a counselor.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps you cope with issues that can trigger bingeing episodes. These may be negative beliefs about your body image or a depressed mood. CBT can also give you more of a feeling of control over your behavior, which can help you regulate eating patterns.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy

During interpersonal psychotherapy, you will focus on your relationships with others. The aim is to improve your interpersonal skills and how you relate to other people including family, friends, and coworkers. Doing this may help you reduce binge-eating episodes that are triggered by difficult relationships and unhealthy communication skills.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy can help you learn the behavioral skills to help you tolerate stress, regulate your emotions, and improve your relationships. This can help reduce your desire to binge eat.

Family Therapy

Support of your family is important for success in treatment. That’s why family therapy is so beneficial. Family therapy helps your family better understand your eating disorder. Family therapy also helps your family be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of binge eating disorder. That way, your family can better support you.

Medication Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder

Although the following medications can be helpful to control binge-eating episodes, they might not have much effect on weight reduction.

1. Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate)

This is a drug typically used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, it is the first FDA-approved medication to treat moderate to severe binge-eating disorders in adults.  Still, it is a stimulant and can be habit-forming and abused. Common side effects of using Vyvanse are insomnia and dry mouth. More serious side effects can later occur though.

2. Topamax (topiramate)

Topamax is an anticonvulsant generally used to control seizures. It has also been found to reduce episodes of binge eating.  The side effects of Topamax topiramate include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty concentrating

3. Antidepressants

Antidepressants may be used to reduce binge eating. It’s not clearly known how they work, but it might be that they affect certain brain chemicals related to mood.

Benefits of Our Los Angeles Binge Eating Disorder Treatment Center

Several benefits come from attending our binge eating disorder treatment in Los Angeles program. First, we provide a residential setting that feels like a home but without the distractions of daily life. This allows each patient to focus on overcoming their illness and enjoy better mental health. We also provide a safe environment in which young people do not have access to things like diet pills or laxatives, and who cannot engage in eating disorder behaviors secretly. 

We offer many types of therapy that help teenagers learn to understand themselves and the challenges of overcoming their binge eating disorder. This helps them realize that food is not the problem but rather the salve they use to distract themselves from the real issues that need healing. The skills they learn from this not only help while they stay with us but aid in avoiding triggers that may lead to a relapse when they return home. 

Our eating disorder treatment program offers Exposure Response Prevention, which involves therapist-supervised trips outside of our facility. We take our patients to places like restaurants, farmer’s markets, and stores that might normally trigger behaviors in them. We help them learn to order meals, make food purchases, and shop for clothes with a brand-new, healthy mindset. 

Last, we make sure to include families in our treatment plan. We keep parents updated on how their kids are doing and provide family therapy. This allows family members to learn how to communicate effectively with each other and help their loved one recover from a binge eating disorder.

Begin Binge Eating Disorder Treatment in Los Angeles, CA

Do you have a teenager who binge eats and engages in other eating-disordered behavior? If so, we can help. We offer a comprehensive binge eating disorder treatment program in Los Angeles that helps adolescents understand why they are sick and how to overcome it. We provide several different kinds of evidence-based and interactive therapies that work well for someone dealing with a binge eating disorder. 

If you would like more information on how to help your child get healthy, contact us today. Our friendly staff is waiting to answer any questions you have.