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Tell tale signs of compulsive overeating

This year the National Eating Disorder Awareness organisation has invited everyone interested to do Just one Thing in order to raise awareness about the illness. Continuing our commitment and contribution towards this noble cause, today’s blog release is building on yesterday’s blog on the tell tale signs of Bulimia Nervosa, in the hope that this will serve to highlight some of the attitudes, behaviours, and pressures that shape the disorder.

Understanding and admitting that you have a problem with Compulsive Overeating is the first vital step towards seeking help and obtaining the appropriate treatment. This is, in itself, an important milestone, and we appreciate how difficult it can be. For many, feelings of shame and denial often hinder early intervention, and in some cases lack of understanding of the symptoms that accompany Compulsive Overeating, can result in the condition going undiagnosed unnecessarily.

Tell tale signs of Compulsive Overeating

The symptoms of Compulsive Overeating are largely focused around a preoccupation with food and unhealthy eating patterns with large consumptions of food. Compulsive overeating typically result in weight gain and obesity, however, not everyone who is obese is also a compulsive overeater. Considering your own, or a loved ones current eating habits, self-esteem, and lifestyle choices, do any of the following statements apply?

Eating Patterns and Body Image:

  • Regularly eating large amounts of food, despite not feeling hungry. Feeling powerless to stop and continue eating until you feel so full you could burst. Afterwards, you are left feeling guilty or ashamed.
  • Deriving a sense of temporary relief from the stress in your life by overeating, but subsequently feeling increasingly out of control.
  • Having experienced a dramatic weight gain as a result of your overeating
  • Disposing of the evidence of your overeating – for example, food wrappers, packets or boxes - away from your home.
  • Often getting up during the night and eat.
  • Your health has been affected by your overeating – for example, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, development of diabetes or joint pain.
  • Harbouring feelings of shame or disgust with your appearance – always able to find flaws.

Compulsive overeating disorder is undoubtedly the most prevalent eating disorder in the Western world and while most people with this problem are either overweight or obese, normal-weight people can also suffer from this disorder. In a bid to tackle some of the most common misunderstandings surrounding eating disorders, this and our previous blogs illustrate that diagnosis based on mere physical presentation cannot accurately capture the entire picture. Hence, obesity does net necessarily imply compulsive overeating disorder and an accurate diagnosis is rarely possible in the absence of an assessment of the cognitive, physical, and mental aspects. The above are some of the common tell tale signs of compulsive overeating. If you feel that any of the above statements reflect your attitude to food and your body image, it might be time you seek appropriate treatment and regain a greater life quality.

With National Eating Disorders Awareness Week in full swing, we at Life Works welcome this opportunity to shed some much needed light on the topic. NEDA week is a collective effort of primarily volunteers along with health professionals and individuals committed to raising awareness of this life threatening illness, while promoting access to the treatment and early intervention.

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To discuss how the Life Works team can help to support individuals and families dealing with an eating disorder or for further information on treatment programmes, please call: 01483 745 066 or click here to make an enquiry.

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