Compulsive Overeating

What is Compulsive Overeating?

A person with compulsive overeating disorder will tend to be overweight, and is usually aware that their eating habits are abnormal. Seeking emotional comfort in food exposes a person to society’s tendency to stereotype the overweight individual. A person who is compulsively eating will sometimes hide behind their physical appearance, using it as a shield against society; this is common in survivors of sexual abuse. They may feel guilty for not being good enough, shame for being overweight, and generally have a very low self-esteem. Their use of food and eating is an effort to cope with these feelings, which only perpetuates the cycle of feeling these emotions and trying to find a way to cope again.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Compulsive Overeating?

A person with symptoms of compulsive overeating has what can be characterized as an addiction to food. The use of food and eating is a way to hide from or manage emotions, to fill a void felt inside, or cope with daily stresses and problems in life.

Signs and symptoms of compulsive overeating include:

  • Eating much more rapidly than normal
  • Eating alone due to shame and embarrassment
  • Preoccupation with body weight
  • Awareness that eating patterns are abnormal
  • History of many different unsuccessful diets
  • Self-defeating statements after food consumption
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of sexual desire or promiscuous relations
  • Holding the belief that life will be better if they can lose weight
  • Withdrawal from activities because of embarrassment about weight
  • Hiding food in strange places (closets, cabinets, suitcases, under the bed)
  • Binge eating, or eating uncontrollably even when not physically hungry

  • Eating alone due to shame and embarrassment
  • Feelings of guilt due to overeating
  • Depression or mood swings
  • Vague or secretive eating patterns
  • Holding the belief that food is their only friend
  • Fatigue
  • Eating little in public, but maintaining a high body weight

Are you ready to make a change?

You are very welcome to get in touch, for any enquiries or questions you may have, or to schedule an appointment.