Psychiatrist Questions Binge Eating

I think I started binge eating. Is it a mental disorder?

I am an 18-year-old girl and all of a sudden I find myself eating a lot of junk at odd hours. The urge to eat is beyond my control and as a result I have gained 15 kgs. in 4 months. What could be my problem and how should I start with the treatment?

17 Answers

Get a complete evaluation by a psychiatrist to rule out any other metabolic disorders...and if diagnosed with B.E.D. Binge Eating Disorder, we now have an FDA approved treatment that is most effective...Vyvanse...Best of luck, Dr. Amy
I would recommend that you find a good therapist - one that can really address all the possible factors that could be leading to your increase in eating. Overeating is a message from your body and you need to find out what the message is trying to tell you. You might also want to read Food over Medicine, which is a description of how often food is the most important factor in our health.
The symptoms described suggest a Binge Eating Disorder. I recommend starting with your primary care provider and request a consultation with a mental health provider for additional evaluation as well as with a nutritionist. It is best not to ignore these symptoms as it can worsen rapidly and persist to become chronic.
It may be Binge-Eating Disorder, but could be other things as well, such as depression or even anxiety. Best route to follow would be to schedule an appointment with a mental health professional with expertise in eating disorders and, depending on the assessment, develop appropriate treatment plans.

Rob Dahmes MD
Binge-Eating Disorder is a mental disorder diagnosis listed in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - 5th edition). However, binge eating may also be a symptom of a number of other problems related to mood, anxiety, job, social life, school, or a side effect of some medications and recreational drugs, among other things. There are many places you could turn to for help with evaluating and treating this problem. However, given your rapid weight gain in a relatively short period of time, my suggestion for your first step would be to visit your GP, family physician, or primary care doctor for a physical examination to make sure that this behavior and weight gain is not due to a medication side effect or other medical problem, and that there is no serious harm or risk to your health as a result. If there is a medical cause, your doctor can refer you to appropriate care to correct the problem. Otherwise, once your doctor declares your physical health to be ok and rules out any medically correctable causes, you can ask him or her for recommendations for next steps in your local community. Depending on the severity of your problem, options for further evaluation and treatment might include residential or outpatient treatment programs, support groups, consultation with a dietician, psychiatrist, and/or therapist who specialize in binge eating and possible psychological causes. This is not a complete answer to your question, and there are many other possible causes and treatments to consider as well. A consultation with a licensed and trained professional in your local community who is an expert on eating disorders and associated problems would be essential.
Binge eating Disorder need to be treated by professionals with expertise in that area. It is an eating disorder and can bring serious health consequences. Find an eating disorder specialist in your area and make an appointment as soon as possible.
You need complete psychiatric evaluation for the cause of your binge eating problem.
Yes, in the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual V, binge eating is a mental illness, abbreviated as B.E.R.D. The treatment of choice is Vyvanse, a stimulant used in ADHD/ADD.

D. Linda Y. Callaghan, M.D.
Your symptoms are definitely not normal and are very concerning. There is no way to tell if this pattern of eating and weight gain is the result of a mental disorder or an endocrine problem, without a thorough medical evaluation, an interview with a lot of questions about what other symptoms you might be experiencing, and lab tests done. I strongly recommend that you schedule an appointment with your primary care provider as soon as possible. 
Jennifer Nagode, M.D., Ph.D. 
Yes. Best treated with Internal Family Systems therapy. Find a therapist on the center for self leadership website and have someone prescribe VyVanse.
It will be nice to see a mental health provider to discuss your problem. Chances are that it might be just a phase, an eating problem, or a symptom of another yet unidentifed condition. Good luck.
You do have a mental Do. And already you have complications as it may cause a metabolic syndrome and worsening your emotions! I will recommend you to look for psychiatric evaluation and find out if you have some depressive Do or Anxiety do. Added to your poor copying mechanism. Also to be treated according to your dx. With Psychotherapy and medications as needed.
Once more it starts with your general health. Check with your usual doctor to query your general health. Are there new habits that accompany the bingeing (smoking, pot alcohol)? Are you under undue stress? As you can see there are many questions to be asked and answered. Binge eating is something not to be ignored. To conclude that it is purely mental disorder, complicated as that is, is premature. Perhaps family can help answer some relevant questions.
Even though from the outset of the information provided it seems like may be a binge eating disorder which is indeed a mental disorder classified in DSM 5. However, we will need lot more information to reach to a correct diagnosis and once its done, it can be treated properly.
That sounds like it could be hormonal and I would first check with a primary care physician or an endocrinologist.
There are a lot of reasons for these changes in eating habits. It is possible that you have an underlying medical issue that is fueling this behavior. It is also possible that overeating has become a way for you to cope with stress. Sometimes, people take medications regularly that increase appetite. Start by making an appointment with your regular physician for a checkup, lab workup, and to discuss your concerns. Your doctor may recommend that you see a mental health specialist for further evaluation. There is hope for you, so don't give up! Try adding some regular exercise into your daily routine, even about 10-20 minutes of walking daily, to help relieve stress, improve sleep, and improve overall well-being. If you find yourself waking in the middle of the night to eat junk food, plan ahead and keep healthy snacks on hand as alternatives. Avoid buying junk food so that the temptation is not as accessible. Sometimes, people get so busy during the day that they forget to eat regular meals, so when they have the time to eat, they eat excessively to try to manage their feelings of hunger and deprivation. Maintaining a balanced diet during the day and avoiding skipped meals will help.
That behavior along with the impulsivity you described is not normal, especially with the amount of gained weight in that timeframe. Please get an assessment done along with blood work to rule out for any underlying problem. Once done, it can be treated by itself.