Help for Parents of Troubled Teens Including Information on Boarding Schools, Residential Treatment Centers, Therapeutic Boarding Schools and Wilderness Therapy Programs
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Eating Disorders

Are you or your child suffering from anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and other eating disorders?
Center for Discovery can help. Center for Discover has been helping teens and adolescents with eating disorders for over 17 years. Call toll free: 1-855-324-9428.

Binge Eating Disorder & Adolescents

For binge eaters, overeating is a repetitive and uncontrollable urge. They eat compulsively, sometimes consuming over 3,000 calories in less than an hour, until they are too full to continue. Teens that suffer from binge eating disorder participate in frequent episodes of binge eating, feel distressed during or after the episode and – unlike bulimia – avoid purging the binge through vomiting or fasting. One of the most common points of origin for a binge eating disorder in teens starts with bullying. Overweight teens that are teased about their weight often turn to food for comfort, where the feelings of stress, anxiety and depression are relieved, but only temporarily. This starts a vicious cycle of reward through eating, regretting the episode and repetition. Parents can sometimes entice the cycle by using food as a method of comfort or reward for their child. Many binge-eaters are obese or overweight, conditions that hold a long list of medical complications including Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease and sleep apnea. Teens that recognize the effects may try to stop the cycle by dieting, but often find that the restrictions incur more binge-eating. Unlike people suffering from substance addictions, binge-eaters do not have the luxury of avoiding their affliction. They must establish that food should cater to their nutritional needs rather than their emotional needs, which could require professional consultation. Like bulimia, cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy and dialectical behavior therapy are all important steps towards overcoming a binge-eating disorder. Parents can identify the signs of binge eating disorder by observing their teenager’s eating behavior and emotional state.

Eating Behavior
  • Inability to stop eating
  • Rapid eating
  • Overeating
  • Hiding food to eat later
  • Continuous eating with no set mealtimes

Emotional Signs
  • Stress or tension
  • Embarrassment over eating patterns
  • Desperation to control eating habits

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