Binge eating disorder (BED) is characterised by eating large quantities of food over a short period of time. It is sometimes alternated with periods of food restriction, leading to a fluctuation in blood sugar levels which perpetuates the vicious cycle of craving, bingeing and excessive restriction. People suffering from bulimia nervosa will purge the food from their body by making themselves vomit or by using laxatives.

Various factors can contribute to the development of binge eating disorder including low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, dissatisfaction with body shape and weight, and stressful or traumatic experiences. Binge eating can be a way of coping with uncomfortable or painful emotions.

The disordered-eating programme at The Psychology Clinic is designed to gradually modify eating behaviour to stabilise blood sugar levels, which will help to break the vicious cycle of craving, bingeing and excessive restriction. Psychological therapy will address the thoughts and beliefs relevant to the moods which tend to trigger a binge, and will work to identify more adaptive ways to manage distressing emotions. If a client is purging through induced vomiting or laxative use, this will be carefully monitored, and reduced over time. As alternative coping strategies are strengthened, the urge to binge will be reduced, thereby also reducing the need to purge. Individuals will be encouraged to understand the relationship between their mood state, their eating behaviour, the cravings they experience, and their experience and response to hunger.

If you would like to discuss whether the disordered-eating programme at The Psychology Clinic may be helpful for you, please contact Irenie Phillips, Practice Secretary, on 07561 371 053 or e-mail Irenie on info@thepsychologyclinic.org.uk