Binge-eating disorder is a disorder characterized by periods of excessive eating. Men who suffer from it find themselves unable to control their food intake, often eating past the point of feeling full. Binge-eating disorder is a serious and possibly life-threatening condition. Side effects of binge-eating disorder can range from co-occurring mental health and substance abuse issues, to obesity and diabetes, to suicide attempts. Though winning the battle against binge-eating disorder may feel impossible, with appropriate help and treatment it is possible to regain control over one’s eating.
Men who struggle with binge-eating disorder can find help at Carolina House. We understand the unique challenges that men who battle this insidious and painful disorder face, and our compassionate, expert staff has developed programs that are designed to help those individuals rediscover a healthy relationship with eating.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Watching a loved one spiral down into a binge-eating disorder can be a profoundly painful experience. You may be unsure about how to best help your loved one, so below are some suggestions:
- Research binge-eating disorder. Read about the disorder and talk with mental health professionals about what it is and how it could manifest in a man’s life.
- Stay in open communication with your loved one. He is likely experiencing a great deal of shame and embarrassment about his binge-eating disorder, so your loving, patient support will be helpful.
- Keep yourself going. Walking with a loved one through any eating disorder is difficult, so make sure to have plenty of time to recharge yourself. Spend time enjoying your favorite hobbies and going out with friends and family. You may also benefit from participating in a support group for those whose loved ones have binge-eating disorder or other eating disorders.
- Look into treatment centers and find a few that would be a good fit for your loved one. Offer to set up appointments, and suggest that you go with him to those appointments.
Why Consider Treatment at Carolina House
Binge-eating disorder is dangerous. It can strain a sufferer’s social life and diminish occupational performance, leading to loneliness, isolation, and financial problems. Those who battle this disorder can also experience co-occurring mental health issues like depression or anxiety, as well as a decline in physical health. Obesity is not uncommon, and obesity itself can increase one’s risk of cardiovascular problems, joint issues, and diabetes. Binge-eating disorder can be so severe that someone struggling with it may even think about taking his own life. While it is true that binge-eating disorder is persistent and difficult to overcome, with proper help and treatment, one can restore a healthy relationship with eating.
Types of Treatment Offered at Carolina House
Located on our Raleigh campus, Carolina House offers partial day treatment programming and intensive outpatient treatment for males, ages 17 and older, who are suffering from eating disorders, including binge-eating disorder. Since opening our doors in 2006, we, at Carolina House, have made it our number one priority to provide premier treatment to the men who are entrusted into our care. With programming that is offered in a safe and comfortable setting, men who receive treatment at Carolina House can rest assured that the knowledgeable and skilled staff that make up their treatment teams will competently guide them and encourage them as they make the necessary lifestyle changes required for true healing and recovery.
While participating in the partial day treatment program, which is also referred to as our partial hospitalization program or PHP, men will work with their designated treatment teams who will create individualized plans of action for helping them to overcome the struggles that they are facing. The following interventions may be included into these treatment plans:
Medical care: As men work to defeat the symptoms of binge-eating disorder, they will benefit from having ongoing medical supervision to address various medical concerns that may arise. Such concerns may include re-feeding issues, somatic complaints, electrolyte imbalances, and gastrointestinal distress. Our psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, and registered dietitian are all highly skilled in the treatment of eating disorders and will monitor and manage clients’ medical needs throughout their time in treatment. Additionally, clients are followed medically by their outpatient internist, with whom the staff at Carolina House will collaborate when appropriate.
Re-Feeding: Specialized meal plans are created for clients to follow as they work towards overcoming the symptoms of binge-eating disorder. Clients in PHP work closely with the registered dietitian, the culinary leader, a staff therapist, and the clinical and medical teams in order to create a plan that adequately addresses their nutritional needs during each stage of treatment. Meals are closely monitored by the staff at Carolina House so that men are afforded the highest level of support as they work towards achieving nutritional stabilization and decrease their eating disorder rituals and behaviors.
Medication management: When men are suffering from symptoms of co-occurring mental health conditions in addition to binge-eating disorder, there may be certain medications that can provide them with relief from their symptoms. Clients in partial day treatment have the opportunity to meet with the psychiatrist or the nurse practitioner once or twice each week, depending on their particular needs.
Individual therapy: A vital part of the therapeutic experience for men recovering from binge-eating disorder in PHP is found in the one-on-one individual therapy sessions that they have with their therapists. Therapists use a wide variety of appropriate therapeutic techniques throughout the course of these sessions. Individual therapy is designed to provide clients with a private, confidential setting where they can receive encouragement as they discuss their concerns, the progress they are making in treatment, and any setbacks that have arisen.
Family therapy: At Carolina House, we believe that families play an instrumental role in helping our male clients successfully recover from binge-eating disorder. For this reason, we implement weekly family therapy sessions into the individualized treatment plans of our clients. Led by each client’s primary therapist, these sessions typically last between 45 and 60 minutes. Additional family therapy sessions may be added on as-needed basis.
Group therapy: While in PHP, clients typically participate in four to five group therapy sessions each day. Two Food and Feeling Groups are held every day, which are short, skills identification groups that take place after lunch and dinner. Groups that are centered on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) occur three times each week, and Interpersonal Process Groups are held twice per week. Additionally, two Integrated Health Groups take place each week, which can include Addictions Education and 12-Step Facilitation. Furthermore, a variety of other process and psychoeducational groups takes place throughout the week, which may include discussions on the following topics:
- Guided self-care
- Body image
- Relapse prevention
- Media awareness
Experiential therapy: In order to provide male clients with a holistic approach to treatment as they work towards overcoming binge-eating disorder, the staff at Carolina House offers various experiential therapy options. These therapies each take place once per week and may include the following:
- Art therapy
- Yoga therapy
- Culinary group
The duration of time that male clients spend in PHP will vary from person to person, depending upon each individual’s unique needs. However, the average length of stay is usually between 30 and 60 days. Programming is held Monday through Friday from 12:00pm to 7:00pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00am until 5:00pm. Included as part of programming, male clients will go on restaurant and snack outings so that they can obtain real-life exposure as they enhance their independence and confidence in overcoming the disordered eating behaviors of binge-eating disorder.
Once they have completed programming in PHP, clients may either step-down to our intensive outpatient program (IOP) or move into less intensive continuing care services within their communities. Our staff will work diligently with clients as the next most appropriate level of care is decided upon and arrangements are made for those aftercare services to take place.
If you or a loved one is struggling to overcome the symptoms of binge-eating disorder and would benefit from treatment that places an emphasis on the needs that are unique to men who are battling this condition, look no further than Carolina House. We want to help you transform your life into one of good health and vitality.