Adults who have compulsive eating disorder feel that they lose control of how much they eat. They over eat beyond the feeling of being comfortably full. They may feel that they have no will power or that they just can’t help it, but in truth they may be suffering from this eating disorder. They may then try to go on a strict diet and after a few days of restricted eating, again go on a binge.
Most of the people who suffer from compulsive eating disorder tend to be obese or at least over weight. This is because they eat to handle stress, emotional problems, and anxiety.
It is not a lifestyle disease, it is an addiction
Compulsive eating disorder may be seen as a sort of life style disease accelerated by the fast paced life we lead, but in truth it is a kind of addiction. It is more of a psychological dependence on food to help deal with emotional upheavals.
They use food like another addict would use alcohol, or drugs, in the form of a crutch. They tend to have a very low self esteem and hide behind overeating.
The overeating leads to their gaining weight and becoming obese which further plunges their self image. They have a deep sated need for validation and love which they try to meet by eating food when they are sad, happy, anxious, depressed or feeling any strong emotion.
A single episode of binge eating is not compulsive eating disorder
In compulsive eating disorder you have recurrent episodes of uncontrolled eating. If you go on a strict diet and then feel that you just have to eat or you will not survive, it is a different thing altogether. Falling off the diet wagon once is not the same as indulging in binge eating repeatedly for any or no excuse.
Also unlike people with bulimia nervosa those who suffer from such uncontrolled overeating do not try to purge themselves. They may feel the guilt from overeating compulsively but they do not try to puke or vomit out the food consumed. They will also eat faster than normal and keep eating till they get very uncomfortably full.
Managing compulsive overeating disorder
This uncontrolled eating must first be acknowledged as a disorder and then the person must seek counseling and therapy. They know that they are consuming far more food than they need to and so tend to be embarrassed about it. This may be the reason that they eat alone and are often preoccupied with the amount of weight that they are gaining. They are also prone to depression and frequent mood swings which can be helped by medication and counseling.
Most people who seek help will see a significant reduction in their addiction to food. The morbidly obese patients also find better means to deal with their emotional responses rather than eating compulsively. Finding a support group can also work to their advantage as they see that it is a problem that other people also face and are trying to overcome.