What is Compulsive Overeating?
Compulsive overeating is the excessive consumption of food (bingeing), often thousands of calories at a time. People with Compulsive Overeating have what is characterized as an "addiction" to food. They often use food and eating as a way to hide from their emotions, to fill a void they feel inside, and to cope with daily stresses and problems in their lives.
Bingeing is used as a release or response to negative situations. For this reason, it is often called "comfort eating", although compulsive overeating can be far more serious than this. Binge eating temporarily relieves the stress of these feelings, but is unfortunately followed by feelings of guilt, shame, disgust, and depression Binge eating, like Bulimia, often occurs in secret. Often times, Compulsive Overeaters eat normally or restrictively in front of others and then make up for eating less by bingeing in secret. Not every compulsive overeater binges by eating thousands of calories at a time. Some may eat foods all day long.
People with Compulsive Over Eating tend to be overweight, are usually aware that their eating habits are abnormal, but find little comfort because of society's tendency to stereotype the "overweight" individual.
Men and Women who are Compulsive Overeaters will sometimes hide behind their physical appearance, using it as a blockade against society. This characteristic is very common in survivors of sexual abuse. They feel guilty for not being "good enough," shame for being overweight, and generally have a very low self-esteem. They use food and eating to cope with these feelings, which only leads into the cycle of feeling them ten-fold and trying to find a way to cope again.
Symptoms of Compulsive Overeating?
Rapid and extreme weight gain
Excessive consumption of food
Buying large amounts of food
Eating when hurt, angry or upset
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