Compulsive Eating Behaviors

Compulsive eating and binge eating are unhealthy eating habits that cause harm. Sometimes after a trauma or depression, these habits begin as a way to cope with the way you are feeling. These habits can also appear after you have been dieting. You lose sight of how much or how little food is healthy.

Compulsive eating and binge eating cause emotional problems, not just physical.

    - Distorted body image - you may feel that your body is never quite right, even after significant changes
    - Low self-esteem - believing that you will never be "as good as" or "as happy as" some ideal you have
    - Obsessive thinking - an intense desire to seek out a particular food and plan your activities around opportunities to binge
    - Compulsive behaviors- actions that lead to overeating to the point of discomfort, sometimes followed by purging to try and rid yourself of excess food
    - Shame and guilt - isolation and secretive episodes of binge eating or purging, followed by low self worth and disgust
   -  Lack of self control - feeling that the eating behavior is running your life, the inability to manage the craving, like an addiction

The National Institute of Mental Health recognizes that therapy can be very helpful in the treatment of compulsive eating and binge eating.

The choice of whether or not you want to work to recover is up to you. Having the assistance of a trained professional to guide you can significantly improve your chance for success. Compulsive eating or binge eating is difficult to overcome. Several factors need to be monitored by the appropriate professionals. Seek medical assistance to monitor your physical well-being and nutritional support to guide you toward a healthy eating plan. Emotional support from a counselor can guide you in managing your feelings in more healthy ways.

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