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What is Compulsive Overeating?

We all engage in innocent overeating from time to time – certainly at Thanksgiving, social events, potlucks and celebrations. But once it becomes a frequent lifestyle habit that triggers guilt and hinders daily activity, compulsive overeating becomes problematic and could likely indicate other deep-rooted mental health issues.

Men, women, and adolescents are all affected by compulsive overeating for many different reasons. For some, compulsive overeating becomes a way to cope with daily stress, and for others, it can become an actual addiction. Regardless of the reason, compulsive overeating is a very serious symptom of a deeper mental health condition that should not go unaddressed.

Living with compulsive overeating can be extremely difficult, discouraging, and isolating. No one deserves to live this way. Rosewood Centers understands the complexity of compulsive overeating disorders and the suffocating effect they have on the lives of victims. Our compulsive overeating treatment is comprehensive and customized, designed to heal the disorder at its root and not just treat the symptoms. With compassionate patient care and innovative treatment modules, Rosewood’s overeating disorder treatment aims to restore all aspects of the self – body, mind and spirit.

Types of Compulsive Overeating

Compulsive overeating is commonly an indicator of a binge eating disorder or a food addiction. Although both have close similarities, they are very distinct and imply different mental health concerns.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder, or BED, is an eating disorder characterized by frequent and consistent episodes of compulsive overeating. During binge eating periods, an individual will experience a complete loss of control and over-consume to the point of extreme discomfort. Feelings of guilt, shame, self-loathing, helplessness, and depression typically follow eating episodes.

The exact reason a BED develops is unknown, though researchers believe the causes are likely biopsychosocial, involving environmental and psychological factors. The reasons people engage in binge eating vary widely person-to-person. Some theories to explain the onset of BED include:

  • Psychological & Genetic Factors. Binge eating is commonly linked to depression or other mental health conditions. Some people can be genetically predisposed to develop this disorder if there is a chemical imbalance in the brain that leads to depression or other mood disorders.
  • Environmental. People who are raised in households that put an unnatural emphasis on food and meals are likely to develop an unhealthy relationship with food that could result in an eating disorder later in life. Binge eating disorders could also be triggered by the onset of certain emotions and life events that cause sadness, distress or hopelessness.

Food Addiction

Food addiction is a very real behavioral disorder characterized by compulsive overeating that develops into a chemical dependency on palatable foods or those specifically high in fat, sugar or sodium. The addiction comes from the effect these foods have on the reward system in the brain, very similar to the effects of highly addictive substances such as heroin and cocaine.

Food addiction is similar to binge eating, whereby people engage in compulsive overeating; however the difference lies in a food addicts’ chemical dependency on specific foods. When food addicts cannot acquire highly palatable foods, they experience withdrawal symptoms such as intense cravings, distortion of instincts, and sometimes even panic attacks.

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Signs & Symptoms of Compulsive Overeating

If we are honest, we can all admit that we compulsively eat from time to time. But at what point do these actions grow into seriously problematic behaviors? Sometimes it can be difficult to tell, but here are some compulsive overeating signs and symptoms, that could indicate red flags:

Physical Symptoms

  • Low energy
  • Weight gain
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Kidney disease
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Arthritis
  • Stroke

Psychological Symptoms

  • Depression
  • Mood disorders
  • Panic or anxiety attacks
  • Behaviors associated with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
  • Behaviors associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Contemplating thoughts of suicide or self-harm

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Rapid eating
  • Consuming high quantities of food in a short period of time
  • Overeating past fullness or despite consequential health issues
  • Being unable to adhere to diet restrictions
  • Practicing different eating habits in public versus when alone
  • Feeling loss of control after eating certain trigger foods
  • Experiencing panic attacks, anxiety, and irritability when food is not available
  • Experiencing feelings of comfort and pleasure while eating

If you suspect you or someone you know could be living with the symptoms associated with compulsive overeating, we encourage you to seek professional help from a knowledgeable and experienced compulsive overeating treatment center. No one should have to face these issues alone – there is help available.

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Seeking Treatment For Compulsive Overeating

The shame and stigma associated with compulsive overeating can make seeking treatment for overeating painfully difficult and embarrassing. Compulsive overeaters are commonly viewed as being careless and lacking willpower, but this notion could not be more false. Being told to “go on a diet” or “exercise more” can be emotionally devastating for someone suffering from a compulsive overeating disorder, because it is most often a symptom to a bigger issue mental health issue he or she cannot self-medicate. Fortunately, effective, long-lasting treatment is available.

Rosewood Centers provides comprehensive and holistic compulsive overeating disorder treatment for adolescents, men and women. Our compulsive overeating treatment model is innovative, effective and proven to treat the whole individual while planting seeds along the way to prevent relapse.

Every individual who walks through the treatment facility doors at Rosewood is welcomed with a supportive, understanding, and supportive staff. Our multidisciplinary team of doctors, physicians, therapists, and nutritionists understand the burden of compulsive overeating, and many have even struggled with it first-hand.

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Rosewood’s Compulsive Overeating Treatment Process

Intake Assessment. Rosewood’s treatment process begins with a comprehensive and confidential intake evaluation. Our overeating treatment is personalized, because every patient has his or her unique story and reason for seeking help. The evaluation will consist of a series of tests, exams and interviews to determine each patient’s history, present health, and goals for compulsive overeating treatment. This process will help doctors assess the severity of the compulsive eating condition, determine if any other disorders are coexistent, and customize a treatment plan that will best serve the needs and goals of each patient.

Choosing A Program: The initial evaluation will help our doctors recommend a type program that will best serve each patient’s journey to recovery. We offer the following levels of care:

Individualized Treatment: This is the stage where the life-changing journey begins. Rosewood Centers’ compulsive overeating treatment plans are personalized to meet the unique needs and goals of every individual who walks through our doors. Our treatment incorporates a variety of clinical, experiential, and innovative approaches to healing, including nutritional therapy, holistic techniques, and other effective eating disorder treatment processes.

Please call Rosewood today at 1 (844) 334-7879 if you suspect that you or someone you love may be living with a compulsive overeating condition. Don’t wait another day. We are standing by 24/7 to address any questions and concerns you may have regarding compulsive overeating, Rosewood’s treatment processes, insurance information, facility amenities, and more. Let’s end addiction together.

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