Compulsive Eating

Compulsive eating, also known as binge eating, is the act of overeating without purging. Weight gain is the most predominant symptom of this eating disorder because the person affected does not purge after consumption. Compulsive eating is defined as having little control over the amount of food or frequency of how often you eat. Meal sizes are often abnormally larger than average meal proportion and feelings of guilt usually follow episodes.

Classified as a group of serious conditions where your main thought process centers on food and weight, the three most common eating disorders are: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, compulsive eating, and binge eating disorder.

Seeing how all three can cause serious health problems, treatment options are vast and generally involve psychotherapy, counseling, medication and hospitalization.

Although all three disorders share similar signs/symptoms, they are not all exactly the same. They are as follows:

Compulsive Eating Disorder

  • Inability to stop eating
  • Rapidly eating large amounts of food
  • Hiding or stockpiling food
  • Embarrassment over food consumption

Binge Eating Disorder

  • Eating alone, frequently
  • Eating to the point of discomfort and/or pain
  • Inability to control how much food is consumed
  • Depression/guilt associated with how much food consumed

Anorexia Nervosa

  • Refusal to eat and denial of hunger
  • Negative self-image
  • Excessive exercise
  • Social withdrawal
  • Extremely thin

Bulimia Nervosa

  • Self-induced vomiting
  • Laxative use
  • Excessive exercise
  • Damaged teeth and gums
  • Dehydration