Binge Eating, Depression, and Cognitive Therapy

27-07-2010 11:54




Samantha C. Symons, M.D.
Binge-eating disorder is not currently a recognized diagnosis in DSM-IV, but is listed under eating disorder not otherwise specified. Interestingly, DSM-IV lists research criteria for binge-eating disorder, and current research is clarifying clinical features and treatment. The criteria include a sense of lack of control over eating and a feeling of being depressed, guilty, or disgusted with oneself after eating. It therefore makes sense to screen for depression in this population and to consider short-term cognitive therapy to target guilt and behavior control. Like the other eating disorders, binge eating usually afflicts adolescent and young adult females who tend to be high achievers. Not surprisingly, this often means a higher prevalence in college and postgraduate programs.