Compulsive overeating is an eating disorder characterized by an “addiction to food”. A person suffering from compulsive disorder engages in recurrent episodes of uncontrolled eating. Just like with any other dependence, compulsive overeaters eat too much but do not purge, which usually leads them to become overweight.
The person suffering from compulsive overeating will have a constant craving for food and consume than required because of this. They will eat much more quickly than is normal, and continue to eat until they are uncomfortably full.
The eating pattern may range from three meals a day including snacks in between throughout the day, rather eating huge amounts all at a time.
People will get confused to compulsive overeating disorder with binge eating, both are similar, but graver eating disorder. Binge eating is also characterized by uncontrollable acts of overeating, but the major difference is that binge eating is much more emotionally and psychologically dependant than this overeating disorder.
For instance, a person with compulsive overeating may feel joyful after a meal, satisfied of the quality of the food, although overstated with the amount consumed. On the other hand, binge eaters will eat uncontrollably like compulsive overeaters, but they will feel a sense of guilt, depression and disgust towards their own personality due to the fact that they could not control themselves.
Compulsive eating can easily turn into the binge eating disorder if sufferers feel depressed or embarrassed about their eating habits and also the effects on body weight and shape on the individual’s emotional and psychological status can turn compulsive eaters into binge eaters.
As there is no depressive period, compulsive overeating is treated as less dangerous than binge eating, since it has a reduced chance of turning into bulimia. Yet, the person suffering from a compulsive disorder feels disgusted with him or herself.
The Causes Of Compulsive Overeating
Compulsive overeating is a significant emotional component of eating disorders. The causes of compulsive overeating are similar to that of binge eating, namely of emotional nature. Most sufferers use food as a way to hide from emotions, fill an empty space inside, and cope with daily stresses.
Some compulsive overeating sufferers use food as a self-medication to recover from their daily problems and this practice quickly turns into an addiction. On other occasion, a person that has been emotionally abused will eat too much with the only purpose of getting fatter, and making them less attractive.
Thus people with compulsive disorder feel guilty for not being “good enough,” embarrass for being overweight, and have very low self esteem.
The last cause of compulsive overeating includes people that are extremely thin and feel shame of how slim they are. In their trial to get to an average weight, they starts to eat too much and this practice turns it into an addiction.
All eating disorders are behavior patterns that exhibit very complex emotional conflict, which need to be treated for the person in order to have a healthy and good relationship with food. Compulsive overeating can hardly be separated from binge eating at times makes it even harder for medics to identify one of these eating disorders with complete efficiency.
Regardless, both disorders need to be treated at their early stages, since they can lead to serious damage to one’s life and can also lead to some graver eating disorders such as bulimia.