Compulsive Overeating Treatment
Though anorexia and bulimia are the eating disorders that most people know, there is another that often goes untreated. While anorexics and bulimics starve themselves and purge their meals, there are individuals who overeat compulsively. They are often caught in the vicious cycle of binge eating and depression, making compulsive eating a difficult problem to overcome. But Brookhaven can identify the needs of these compulsive overeaters and give them a plan that leads to healthier eating habits.
Compulsive overeating is often used as a coping mechanism to deal with uncomfortable feelings. Some people speak of using the compulsive overeating episodes as a method of numbing all that is going on around them emotionally. The amount and duration of food eaten can vary greatly for a person struggling with compulsive overeating, but damage is done both physically and mentally.
Compulsive overeating may temporarily relieve the stress of certain unwanted feelings (such as stress, anxiety or other challenging emotions), but for the individual, these overeating episodes are often followed by intense and overwhelming feelings of guilt, shame, disgust and further depression. For people grappling with compulsive overeating, episodes usually occur in secret – much like a bulimic’s binge – and any evidence is often hidden from others.
Similar to people with anorexia and bulimia, individuals with compulsive overeating are constantly struggling and unhappy with their weight and self-image. Often the number they read on the scale will determine how they feel about themselves. Constant dieting and the strict restriction of food becomes a way of life. In most cases, each diet ends in failure and any lost weight is quickly regained, throwing compulsive overeaters into a devastating cycle.
Common medical complications from compulsive overeating are:
- Heart problems
If any of the following symptoms apply to you or a loved one, contact us. You or your loved one may be at risk of compulsive overeating.
- Eating large amounts of food, even when not hungry
- Eating quickly
- Eating to the point of discomfort, fatigue or nausea
- Eating alone because of shame or embarrassment
- Feelings of depression, disgust or guilt after eating
- Weight fluctuations
Compulsive Overeating Treatment Options
Compulsive overeating is a disease and cannot be cured with willpower alone. If left untreated, compulsive overeating can be fatal. If you or someone you know suffers from compulsive overeating, contact Brookhaven Hospital today at 888-298-4673.