Knowing the symptoms of a compulsive eating disorder can mean the difference between happiness and sorrow, between being healthy and being unhealthy and even between life and death. Step in to save someone you care about, or recognize the behavior in yourself. Eating disorders are serious concerns. If you think you may have an eating disorder, reach out to your doctor, a therapist and loved ones for support. If someone you care about is exhibiting the symptoms of an eating disorder, try to encourage him or her to speak with a doctor without accusing or getting angry, which will only cause the person to withdraw further. Here are some of the symptoms of a compulsive eating disorder:
1. Blaming Problems on Weight
Contrary to what you may think, having a compulsive eating disorder does not mean you’re entirely fond of eating. The overeating is part of a vicious cycle that stems from a skewed perception of your appearance and sense of self-worth. People who talk constantly about how everything would be better if they lost weight and that most things that don’t go well for them are due to their weight may have a compulsive eating disorder. This includes ideas that they would find a lover or their problems with a current partner would go away if they lost weight, or problems like how they’re doing poorly at school, they’re treated miserably at work or they don’t have any friends because of their weight.
2. Withdrawing from Loved Ones
People who withdraw from those who care about them are usually struggling with some kind of potentially serious problem. If you find yourself not wanting to spend time with friends and family for fear of being judged or for fear of “rewarding” yourself by having fun when you think you don’t deserve to due to your weight, you may have a compulsive eating disorder. You may also feel alone and think that no one understands what you’re going through.
3. Hiding Food and Keeping Eating Habits Secretive
A person with a compulsive eating disorder may hide food throughout his or her home in order to sneak food without others knowing. If you find yourself feeling guilty with how much you eat and stashing food away so that your loved ones won’t know that you’re eating that much, you may be suffering from an eating disorder. You may also find yourself keeping your overall eating habits secretive. You may overeat only when alone and actually seem like you’re not eating enough when dining with others.
4. Frequent, Short Attempts at Dieting
Compulsive eating is actually a cycle of eating too much and not eating enough, as well as trying to “punish” yourself for previous overeating. A person who overeats to a dangerous point may also frequently attempt fad diets without a doctor’s or nutritionist’s guidance. You may not find yourself able to commit to the diet or you may successfully lose some weight on the diet, but you find yourself off the diet shortly because you weren’t in the right frame of mind to attempt to lose weight in a healthy manner.