We have updated our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. By using this website, you consent to our Terms and Conditions.


Which Binge Eating Disorder Center Is Right For Your Loved One?

Binge eating disorder recovery relies on the appropriate kind of treatment for the individual. With so many choices out there, how is the family or friends of an individual with an eating disorder going to find the right binge eating treatment center? While there is no particular eating disorder treatment center that is right for every person, there are some guidelines that can help the process go more smoothly when a family searches for “binge eating disorder treatment near me”.

Understanding Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder can be severe enough to be life-threatening, but it can also be treated. The primary characteristic associated with binge eating disorder is recurrent instances in which excessive amounts of food are consumed.

Individuals often experience physical feelings of discomfort though there are other psychological feelings including distress and shame. There is also a distinct feeling where the individual experiences a lack of control over their actions.

Binge Eating Disorder and Bulimia Nervosa: What’s the Difference? 

While binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa share a number of similar characteristics, there are crucial differences as well. Both disorders, for example, involve eating large amounts of food, a feeling of lack of control and feelings of guilt, shame or distress afterward. A distinct difference between the two, however, is the fact that individuals with binge eating disorder do not take measures to compensate for their eating pattern on a regular basis.

This behavior is most often known as purging and could involve the use of laxatives, self-induced vomiting and/or extreme episodes of exercise and physical activity. In some cases, individuals who have bulimia nervosa engage in all three behaviors at some point though most have a preferred purging method. It is important to note those with binge eating disorder rarely, if ever, purge.

As of 2013 when the latest version of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was released, binge eating disorder has been formally recognized as a stand-alone eating disorder. Previously, it was coupled as a subtype of a category known as Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). This change was a vital step in binge eating recovery because insurance companies began to cover the services provided by binge eating disorder treatment centers.

How Common is Binge Eating Disorder? 

Binge eating disorder has been formally recognized as the most common eating disorder in the country. According to Healthline, an estimated 2.8 million people in the country have binge eating disorder. In fact, research by the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) found that two percent of men and three and a half percent of women surveyed during a 2007 study of more than 9,000 Americans had binge eating disorder at some point during their lifetimes.

Starting Binge Eating Disorder Treatment

Getting treatment for eating disorders can often be difficult for both the individual and their loved ones. This is due in part because of the hidden nature of these disorders. Another important characteristic that can be difficult is finding and getting treatment is the sense of shame and guilt surrounding it.

Though the change in the DSM-5 helped bring the crisis of binge eating disorder out of the shadows, it is estimated only about three percent of those adults who meet the binge eating disorder criteria receive treatment. With the adoption of binge eating disorder as a formal diagnosis, there is both more awareness and acceptance of the condition. This means it is easier for individuals to find the treatment they need because more doctors are becoming not only aware of its existence, but they are also getting trained within the specialization.

Characteristics of Binge Eating Disorder

It may be surprising, but an individual’s weight is not considered a risk factor when it comes to binge eating disorder. An individual at any weight can have binge eating disorder.

There is some evidence that indicates the brain’s dopamine levels could be a factor in whether a person develops binge eating disorder. According to a study that was included in the August 2011 issue of “Obesity”, a person’s dopamine levels can affect the amount of food they consume. For example, dopamine could increase the amount of enjoyment a person derives from certain foods and create cravings for a particular type of food. Dopamine could also interfere with an individual’s ability to manage those cravings for a particular food.

Health Concerns Regarding Binge Eating Disorder

Not surprisingly, there are a number of health concerns associated with binge eating disorder — just as there are with any eating disorder. Left unchecked, these health issues could be debilitating for the individual and could even be fatal. Finding high-quality eating disorder treatment centers provides hope for recovery and a new lease on life.

Some of the health concerns associated with binge eating disorder are heart disease, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and diabetes.

As with other eating disorders, the health concerns associated with binge eating disorders are limited only to the physical. Many individuals with binge eating disorder also live with psychological disorders such as anxiety, low self-esteem, depression and other conditions that can negatively affect their quality of life and their ability to receive the binge eating disorder treatment they need.

The Next Steps

Now that binge eating disorder is better understood, it can be easier to find the type of binge eating disorder treatment centers that are best for a particular individual. While no two people are the same when it comes to the ideal eating disorder treatment center, there are a few characteristics loved ones will want to keep in mind when searching for help.

Compassionate and Caring Staff

This aspect of treatment cannot be overlooked when a family member is searching for “binge eating disorder treatment near me”. Even though it is understood by many within the medical community that individuals with binge eating disorder are not at fault in their illness the same cannot be said for the general public. Changes in attitudes regarding weight are happening, but it is a slow and ongoing process. These negative reactions are part of the reason for the feelings of shame, guilt and distress that those with binge eating disorder experience.

Instead of tough love, “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” sort of mentality, staff that is supportive, compassionate and that really cares about the individual is most likely to result in binge eating recovery. Family members should research any facility they are considering, to ensure the philosophy of the binge eating treatment center matches the treatment they want their loved one to experience.

Variety of Treatment Options

While a professional who has extensive experience and training in eating disorders, including binge eating disorder, is the best individual to make an accurate treatment recommendation, a good rule of thumb when searching for binge eating disorder treatment centers is to find one that offers a range of treatment options. The reason for this strategy is simple. If a person requires residential treatment for binge eating disorder, step down care in the form of outpatient treatment is likely to be part of the recommended treatment plan as an individual works toward recovery.

While an individual can certainly obtain residential treatment from one facility and outpatient care from a different one, the continuity in methods and approaches that is possible when treatment is obtained within a single eating disorder treatment center cannot be overstated. While it is not a given, there could be setbacks during the transition between different centers that might extend the recovery time.

Comfortable and Home-Like Surroundings

Binge eating disorder treatment is often a challenging journey to recovery that requires the individual involved to do some serious introspection and work. Being able to do that work in a setting that is comfortable, supportive and that reminds them of home can help make the process easier.

It is also important individuals have the opportunity to enjoy themselves during off-site activities. Not only does this provide a welcome change of pace from life at the binge eating treatment center, but it also provides them with the ability to practice their coping skills in a natural setting while still being fully supported and guided by the center’s staff. These outings can help provide individuals with the confidence they need in order to apply what they have learned during their counseling sessions to real-life situations that are similar to the ones they are likely to encounter.

Excellent Medical Treatment

As mentioned previously, there is research that indicates dopamine receptors could be a cause behind binge eating disorder. In addition, individuals with binge eating disorder may often already experiencing health complications, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which need to be constantly monitored. Treating the whole person — physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally — is of vital importance so having access to medical treatment is necessary.

Treatment for Co-Occurring Conditions

Building on the philosophy that treating the entire person in a holistic manner is the best way to assist in binge eating disorder recovery, treatment for co-occurring conditions must be part of the treatment plan. Whether the individual is coming into treatment knowing they have anxiety, OCD, depression or another type of mental health disorder or they have not been yet formally diagnosed, having this type of treatment available on-site is crucial to providing the continuity of care that results in fostering hope and long-lasting recovery. Discovering ways to cope better with stress, obtaining the right dosage of medication and feeling that their concerns are heard are just a few of the ways treatment for co-occurring conditions can help.

As a nationwide leader in the eating disorder industry, Monte Nido has gained a well-earned reputation as a cutting-edge binge eating disorder treatment center. Offering both residential and outpatient treatment options, Monte Nido provides a talented and caring staff, a comfortable setting, top-notch medical treatment and numerous off-site activities that set it apart from others. Learn more about how Monte Nido can help with binge eating disorder by contacting them today.





Melissa Orshan Spann, PhD, LMHC, RTY 200, is Chief Clinical Officer at Monte Nido & Affiliates, overseeing the clinical operations and programming for over 50 programs across the U.S. Dr. Spann is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and clinical supervisor as well as an accomplished presenter and passionate clinician who has spent her career working in the eating disorder field in higher levels of care. She is a member of the Academy for Eating Disorders and the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals where she serves on the national certification committee, supervision faculty, and is on the board of her local chapter. She received her doctoral degree from Drexel University, master’s degree from the University of Miami, and bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida.