Eating disorders have become a common health issue in the USA. Binge eating disorder is one of the health concerns characterized by high comorbidity as this health state tends to lead to obesity, depression, and other issues.1,2 Adolescents, especially teenage females, are specifically prone to the development of this disorder. It has been found that people paying attention to their weight can still be vulnerable to binge eating.3 Adolescent girls often develop this illness due to peer pressure and body image patterns persisting in society. Several types of treatment are commonly employed to treat the disorder in question.
One of these methods is cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) that encompasses helping clients to acknowledge the problem and change their behavior to address it effectively.4 Patients try to change their attitude to their weight, certain aspects of their life, food, and other areas in order to change their eating habits. Another effective strategy is the participation of the affected person in self-help programs. Counselors assist clients in developing healthy habits and addressing certain issues that may be seen as the cause of the eating disorder. Education is one of the central components of this type of treatment. Participation in various types of group therapy is also possible. Finally, pharmacological treatment is often regarded as an efficient way to address the problem.4 Antidepressants are usually prescribed to address the root causes of the eating disorder. It is also common to combine several treatment types based on the peculiarities of each case.
As far as Sarah’s case is concerned, the teenage girl may benefit from participation in CBT-based intervention.4 The girl is likely to be dissatisfied with her body image, so she is reluctant to see herself in the mirror. Her dissatisfaction with her physical features and some other aspects of her life can cause binge eating. Therefore, the counselor should pay attention to these areas during the intervention. Education and effective communication are key components of the treatment to be provided.5 These elements are critical for establishing trustful relationships and facilitating the change in the patient’s behavior. The therapist should educate Sarah, as well as her mother, and choose the most effective communication patterns and channels. It is important to identify the exact reasons for Sarah’s low capacity to control her eating. The therapist should also inform Sarah about efficient methods to control eating and keep to a healthy diet. The girl should develop a positive attitude towards her body and find her own strategies to replace binge eating with healthier behavior.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that binge eating is a common eating disorder affecting diverse groups. Adolescents are specifically vulnerable due to their psychological and developmental peculiarities, peer pressure, and the influence of persistent societal norms. Such types of treatment as CBT, group therapy, self-help programs, and pharmacological therapy can be employed. In the case under consideration, CBT can be the most appropriate strategy. The focus should be on the client’s attitude towards her physical features and some aspects of her life (interactions with peers). The client should be able to change her behavior, and instead of binge eating, engage in healthier activities. The therapist should pay specific attention to the development of appropriate relationships with the client and her mother, so communication channels and patterns need thorough consideration. The client and her mother should be educated on the peculiarities of binge eating, possible causes, and methods to address the issue.
Kral TVE, Moore RH, Stunkard AJ, et al. Adolescent Eating in the Absence of Hunger and Relation to Discretionary Calorie Allowance. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2010;110:1896-1900.
Thomas JJ, Koh KA, Eddy KT, et al. Do DSM-5 Eating Disorder Criteria Overpathologize Normative Eating Patterns among Individuals with Obesity? Journal of Obesity. 2014:1-8.
Chatterton, JM, Petrie, TA. Prevalence of Disordered Eating and Pathogenic Weight Control Behaviors Among Male Collegiate Athletes. Eating Disorders. 2013;21:328-341.
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Eating Disorders: Core Interventions in the Treatment and Management of Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders. Manchester: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence; 2004.
Dejesse LD, Zelman DC. Promoting Optimal Collaboration Between Mental Health Providers and Nutritionists in the Treatment of Eating Disorders. Eating Disorders. 2013;21:185-205.