Binge eating and compulsive overeating disorder affects both women and men.
Individuals who suffer from Compulsive overeating disorder are commonly described as “having an addiction to food.”
Binge Eating and Compulsive Eating
Binge overeating disorder is said to be more common that anorexia or bulimia – affecting 3.5% of women and 2% of men.
Women who suffer from compulsive overeating disorder engage in frequent episodes of uncontrolled eating, or binge eating. During an eating binge the woman may feel frenzied or out of control. While binge eating, a woman will eat much more quickly than is normal, and continue to eat even past the point of being uncomfortably full. Binging in this way is generally followed by a period of intense guilt feelings and depression. Unlike individuals with bulimia, compulsive overeaters do not attempt to compensate for their binging with purging behaviors such as fasting, laxative use or vomiting.
Compulsive overeaters will typically eat when they are not hungry, spend excessive amounts of time and thought devoted to food, and secretly plan or fantasize about eating alone. Compulsive overeating often leads to weight gain and obesity, but not everyone who is obese is also a compulsive overeater.
In addition to binge eating, compulsive overeaters also engage in grazing behavior, during which they return to pick at food over and over throughout the day. This results in a large overall number of calories consumed even if the quantities eaten at any one time may be small. When a compulsive eater overeats primarily through binging, she can be said to have binge eating disorder. Where there is continuous overeating but no binging, then the sufferer has compulsive overeating disorder.
The Victorian Approach to Treating Compulsive Overeating
- Individual counseling
- Group therapy during Family Week
- Individual consultations with The Victorian nutritionist
- Learning to intuitively weigh, measure and cook meals
- Eating a variety of foods in a private and public outings
- Attendance to 12 Step meetings of Overeaters Anonymous
- Working weekly with a Case Manager
- Art Therapy
- Yoga, exercise and bike riding
- Weekly outings to the surrounding amusement parks, beaches, museums, gallerys and zoos
- Volunteer opportunities
Potential Negative Effects of Compulsive Overeating Disorder
Left untreated, compulsive overeating can lead to serious medical conditions including high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and clinical depression. Additional long-term side effects of the condition also include kidney disease, arthritis, bone deterioration and stroke.
Some Symptoms of Compulsive Overeating/Binge Eating Disorder:
- Fear of not being able to control eating, and while eating, not being able to stop
- Isolation. Fear of eating around and with others
- Chronic dieting on a variety of popular diet plans
- Holding the belief that life will be better if they can lose weight
- Hiding food in strange places (closets, cabinets, suitcases, under the bed) to eat at a later time
- Vague or secretive eating patterns
- Self-defeating statements after food consumption
- Blames failure in social and professional community on weight
- Holding the belief that food is their only friend
- Frequently out of breath after relatively light activities
- Excessive sweating and shortness of breath
- High blood pressure and/or cholesterol
- Leg and joint pain
- Weight gain
- Decreased mobility due to weight gain
- Loss of sexual desire or promiscuous relations
- Mood swings, depression, and fatigue
- Insomnia and poor sleeping habits.