Can ADHD Medications be Used for Eating Disorders? Tehachapi Counselor Questions

Douglas Cowan Psy.D., Counseling TehachapiADHD, Christian Counseling, Teenagers, Tehachapi, Worry


I have a new client coming in to my office for counseling in Tehachapi tomorrow.  She called for an appointment because she said that she “was addicted to eating,” and this concerned her.  I had met her at an event in Stallion Springs before, and in that brief conversation she had mentioned that she knew I was a counselor in Tehachapi for those with ADHD, and that she had always wondered if ADHD was a part of her life.

vyvanse-logoSo I bring her up only because of this news release from earlier this week that the FDA has approved Vyvanse, a medication commonly used for ADHD, for the treatment of binge eating disorders.

The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that about 2 percent of adults in the U.S., or about 5 million people, have some kind of a binge eating problem or disorder.  Typically treatment involves cognitive behavioral therapy or counseling, and I have also seen some good outcomes from small doses of anitdepressants added to the treatment. But now the FDA has approved Vyvanse for the treatment of a binge eating disorder.

Vyvanse is a CNS stimulant.  It also carries the warning that it has the potential for abuse, and even for dependence.

But being a stimulant, it is expected to impact appetite, and sure enough, in the two studies that Shire Pharma did on Vyvanse and binge eating problems, those studies with the medication had fewer incidents of binge eating than the control group, or the placebo group.

Tehachapi Counselor Doug Cowan photoSo, as much as I don’t really like the idea of using a stimulant for any disorder that might have its roots in depression more than in a dis-inhibition disorder like ADHD, it just might help my new client tomorrow.  We will see.

A few years ago I wrote this article about Vyvanse for the ADHD Information Library, and it might have some insights on Vyvanse, and on Shire Pharmaceuticals, that might interest you.


Are you looking for counseling in Tehachapi? Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., MFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Tehachapi, CA who has been a counselor in Tehachapi, Lancaster, and Bakersfield to children, teens, and adults helping them to overcome ADHD, find relief for depression or anxiety, and solve other problems in life since 1989. He served on the medical advisory board to the company that makes Attend and Extress from 1997 through 2011, and he is the Editor of the ADHD Information Library online resource at His weekly ADHD Newsletter goes out to 9,500 families. Visit his website at for more information on achieving greater health, personal growth, Christ-centered spirituality, stress management, parenting skills, ADHD, working out the stresses of being a care-giver to elderly parents and also being a parent to teenagers, or finding greater meaning in retirement years, Dr. Cowan can be a valuable resource to you as a mentor, life coach, consultant, psychotherapist, and Christian counselor in Bear Valley Springs just outside of Tehachapi, and via Skype or Facetime.

Phone him directly on his personal cell phone at (661) 972-5953.

Counselor counseling Tehachapi for ADHD, depression, anxiety, PTSD, cutting and self-injury, unforgiveness, anger, marriage problems, and more.



Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., MFT
27400 Oakflat Dr.
Tehachapi, CA 93561
(661) 972-5953


Douglas Cowan Psy.D., Counseling TehachapiCan ADHD Medications be Used for Eating Disorders? Tehachapi Counselor Questions