Treatment for Eating Disorders in North Kingstown

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At South County Psychiatry, we offer treatment for Binge Eating Disorder and Emotional Eating through the Weight and Wellness Institute. 

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is characterized by recurrent episodes of consuming large amounts of food, often very quickly and to the point of discomfort. During these episodes, individuals feel a lack of control over their eating behavior.

Key features of Binge Eating Disorder include:

  • Binge Eating Episodes: Eating, in a relatively short period of time (e.g., within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is larger than most people would eat during a similar period and under similar circumstances.
  • Lack of Control: During the binge episodes, individuals experience a sense of lack of control over their eating. They cannot stop eating, even if they want to.
  • Emotional Distress: Binge eating is often associated with feelings of guilt, shame, and distress.

Unlike bulimia nervosa, individuals with BED do not regularly engage in compensatory behaviors such as vomiting, excessive exercise, or fasting, to prevent weight gain. BED can affect people of any age, gender, or background, and it is often associated with emotional and psychological distress.

Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder often involves a combination of psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and sometimes medication.

Emotional Eating

Emotional eating occurs when people eat in response to emotional cues such as stress, sadness, boredom, or anxiety, rather than in response to hunger or a physiological need for nourishment. People who engage in emotional eating may use food as a way to cope with or manage their emotions. Emotional eating does not always involve consuming large amounts of food; it can involve eating small or moderate amounts of food in response to emotional cues.

Key features of emotional eating include:

  • Emotional Cues: Emotional eating is prompted by emotions rather than physical hunger. Stress, sadness, loneliness, and other emotional states can be triggers. Emotional eating is often a way to distract from or numb emotions.
  • Mindless Eating: During episodes of emotional eating, individuals may eat without paying much attention to the type or quantity of food consumed. It's often a way to distract from or numb emotions.
  • Turning to Comfort Food: Emotional eating is often associated with the consumption of "comfort foods" — foods that are typically high in sugar, fat, or carbohydrates and are associated with positive emotions or memories.
  • Guilt and Regret: After emotional eating episodes, individuals may experience feelings of guilt, regret, or shame about their eating behavior.

Treating emotional eating often involves developing healthier coping mechanisms for dealing with emotions. This may include mindfulness techniques, stress management strategies, and finding new ways to address emotional needs without relying on food.