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Compulsive Overeating


The most common element surrounding ALL Eating Disorders is the inherent presence of a low self esteem

Compulsive Overeating
People suffering with Compulsive Overeating have what is characterized as an "addiction" to food, using 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.

People suffering with this Eating Disorder 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. Words like, "just go on a diet" are as emotionally devastating to a person suffering Compulsive Overeating as "just eat" can be to a person suffering Anorexia. A person suffering as a Compulsive Overeater is at health risk for a heart attack, high blood-pressure and cholesterol, kidney disease and/or failure, arthritis and bone deterioration, and stroke.

Men and Women who are Compulsive Overeaters will sometimes hide behind their physical appearance, using it as a blockade against society (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. With a low self esteem and often constant need for love and validation he/she will turn to obsessive episodes of binging and eating as a way to forget the pain and the desire for affection.

It is important to remember that most Eating Disorders, though their signs and symptoms may be different, share a great number of common causes and emotional aspects.

From Tom...

I suppose it is ironic that I work at a hospital. I was married to an alcoholic... how nice it would be to have a simple addiction like booze... you give it up and you are recovering. But you have to eat. Well I eat... when I'm hungry... when I'm full... when I'm anxious... when I'm happy... when I'm sad... well you get the idea. Food, the friend that never fails.

When I was a kid I was trained that food made it all better. When we were totally broke my mom would cook the most. She was a compulsive feeder so I became a compulsive eater.

Every diet has failed. I am a lifer on Weight Watchers, I have been through Nutra System. But it's not about the weight... it's about the inability to deal with feelings and emotions... about using a bowl of pasta or a pound of m&m's as a narcotic to stem the pain.

That's what compulsive overeating is.

I cry because it makes me overweight and no one sees the real me inside. I try to show the real me and I think that people don't like me because I am overweight. Another catch 22 or chicken and egg thing. I see my son gaining weight and I grieve. I want out... but then I realize that there is no out... only control... and control is harder than being in or out.

Read MORE Personal Stories
from people living with Compulsive Overeating


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