6 Symptoms of Compulsive Overeating Disorder

Overeating and obesity are common problems in the United States and can result from compulsive overeating disorder, or binge eating disorder. Compulsive overeating disorder is an eating disorder characterized by out of control eating, with unusually large amounts of food. However, eating a lot does not necessarily mean you have an eating disorder. Below are some symptoms of compulsive overeating (binge eating) disorder.

1. Eating Extremely Large Amounts of Food

People with binge eating disorder will typically eat extremely large amounts of food in short periods of time, even when they’re not hungry. High-calorie, high-fat foods are often consumed during food binges. Bulimia nervosa is a related eating disorder where food binges are followed by purging (throwing up, starvation or excessive exercise) to burn off the extra calories consumed.

2. Eating until You’re Uncomfortably Full

People who have compulsive overeating disorder don’t stop eating when they’re full, and continue to eat until they feel uncomfortable. They typically report feeling a loss of control over their eating.

3. Emotional Eating

Binge eaters tend to eat for emotional reasons instead of because they’re truly hungry. If you have binge eating disorder, you may find yourself eating because you feel sad, angry, depressed, bored, or because eating makes you feel good. If you’re eating for any reason other than being hungry, it could lead to compulsive overeating.

4. Feeling Guilty after Eating

Although eating can be pleasurable, many people with binge eating disorder report feeling guilty, ashamed, embarrassed or depressed after a food binge.

5. Eating Alone

Due to being ashamed of eating habits, compulsive overeaters typically eat (or binge) alone. They commonly fear being judged by others, especially if they are overweight or obese.

6. Weight Gain and Obesity

Compulsive overeating usually leads to weight gain and eventually obesity. Most people with compulsive overeating disorder are overweight or obese.

Many times, compulsive overeating disorder accompanies co-existing health issues such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem or personality disorders. If you think you may be a compulsive overeater, seek treatment from a heath care provider. Treatment may include counseling or taking antidepressants, appetite suppressants or other medications.


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