Text Size

No one but you and your doctor or therapist should decide on what treatment best meets your needs - because with eating disorders, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions.

That being said, there are treatment approaches which tend to work better than others and there are certain interventions in the clinical toolbox that make more sense when starting off with binge eating disorder treatment.

So as a very general guidebook to get you started in thinking about your options and about what makes the most sense, here are 6 binge eating disorder treatment recommendations from the experts at the National Eating Disorders Association. 

Binge Eating Disorder: Treatment Recommendations1

1. If you haven't tried anything yet, the first thing you should consider trying is an evidence based binge eating disorder self-help program.

2. While trying a self-help program, you should talk to your primary care doctor (family doctor or other) about what you're dealing with and what you're doing to try to improve the situation. Your doctor may offer support or encouragement, such as regular monitoring or advice, and research shows that this improves your chances of success. For some people, a self-help program augmented with some minimal professional oversight results in substantial improvements.

3. As an alternative or augment to a self-help program, you may want to consider trying an antidepressant. Some people find that antidepressants help to reduce the frequency of bingeing and purging and when they work they tend to show results fairly quickly. Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of antidepressant treatment.

4. When self-help alone is insufficient, adults should consider a specialized type of cognitive behavioral therapy that has been developed for binge eating disorder, called CBT-BED. Adolescents will also benefit from CBT-BED but it must be adapted to the maturity and development of the client. In many cases with adolescent clients, family needs to get involved in the process.

5. When CBT-BED doesn't result in sufficient symptoms reduction, you should consider trying other types of psychotherapies, such as dialectic behavioral therapy or interpersonal psychotherapy.

6. Since psychological interventions for binge eating disorder won't have much of an immediate impact on body weight, if you are obese, you should pursue weight loss through other channels. You doctor can refer you to bariatric specialists who can assist you with weight loss, if needed.

If you need help, get it soon, because eating disorder treatments work and once you get started you'll likely see a reduction in your symptoms and an improvement in your quality of life - and because the sooner you initiate eating disorder treatment, the better your ultimate prognosis.

Subscribe Subscribe to this topic category

Page last updated Aug 09, 2012

Creative Commons License
Copyright Notice
We welcome republishing of our content on condition that you credit Choose Help and the respective authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Eating Disorders: 50 Relapse Warning Signs Are you sliding toward relapse? Check your current thoughts and behaviors against a list of 50 eating disorder relapse signs. Read Article
Eating Disorders July 11, 2014 (1)
How to Support a Teenager with an Eating Disorder
9 Important Rules for Supporting a Teenager with an Eating Disorder © pixieclipx
Learn how to effectively support a teen who is already receiving professional care, but who still needs a ton of support from the rest of the family. Read Article
Eating Disorders February 03, 2015
Beat Binge Eating with Mindfulness
Binge Eating: Learn Mindful Eating to Gain Conscious Control over Your Binges © Helga Weber
By learning to eat mindfully, even when binging, you can retake conscious control over an automatic behavior. Read Article
Eating Disorders November 30, 2012 (2)

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.

Find Treatment
Browse by region »
Scan to call us
using your phone camera app