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Home » Expert Q & A » Eating Disorders » Eating Disorders: Rob Danzman, MS, NCC, LPC

Are There Medications That Help With Eating Issues?

  • anonymous Asks ...
    anonymous

    I think I have compulsive eating disorder. I binge hard 3 or 4 times a week and I am trying to stop. I have not talked to a doctor or anything like this yet. I would like to know if there are any medications that will help me to deal with the urges I feel.

  • Rob Danzman Says ...
    Rob Danzman

    Here is what almost all therapists and doctors will tell you are the most effective means of controlling the issue you described. It's what our agency suggests as well:

    Counseling: More specifically - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This is a type of individual counseling that focuses on changing the thinking (cognitive therapy) and behavior (behavioral therapy) of a person with an eating disorder. Treatment includes practical techniques for developing healthy attitudes toward food and weight, as well as approaches for changing the way the person responds to difficult situations.

    Medication: Some antidepressant medications, called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs such as Prozac and Paxil), might be used to help control anxiety and depression associated with an eating disorder. The anti-seizure drug Topamax may reduce binge eating episodes, but side effects can be serious. You really need to talk with a psychiatrist rather than a general practice or family doctor. 

    Nutrition Counseling: This strategy is designed to help restore normal eating patterns, and to teach facts and strategies for a nutritious and balanced diet.

    Group and/or Family Counseling: Family support is very important to treatment success. It is important that family members understand the eating disorder and recognize its signs and symptoms. People with eating disorders might benefit from group therapy, where they can find support and openly discuss their feelings and concerns with others who share common experiences and problems. I would not recommend starting this counseling before the other strategies above since families can often be either the trigger or, at least a stressor. 

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