Common Eating Disorders

By: Phoenix Delray

Eating Disorders are common and effect all demographics, ethnicities, and both men and women. Compulsive overeating is one of the more overlooked of these, and if often confused with Anorexia or Bulimia Nervosa, since many of the triggers and symptoms are very similar. This disorder is characterized by an addiction to food, and the use of food to hide from emotions, cope with daily stresses, and fill a void within themselves.

Many compulsive over eaters begin their cycle of unhealthy eating in childhood, eating to cope with emotional problems, and this trend continues into young adulthood and through the adult years, resulting in a breakdown of self esteem, and an escalation of both body weight and the frequency of compulsive over eating episodes, or binges. Unlike the bulimic, the compulsive over eater does not usually purge after a binge, although they may do so occasionally. Usually, the compulsive eater promises themselves that they will never over eat again and then tragically, end up breaking this promise soon after.

Sufferers are usually overweight, and aware that their eating habits are abnormal, but usually feel stigmatized by societal tendencies to stereotype overweight individuals and prescribe diets as a panacea for all symptoms. Compulsive overeaters frequently suffer from high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, kidney disease, kidney failure, bone deterioration, arthritis, and strokes. Compulsive overeaters frequently hide behind their physical appearance, and usually have low self esteem. This cycle perpetuates the mentality of the binge eater.

It is not uncommon for compulsive overeaters to consume as much as 5.000 and up to 60,000 calories per day, resulting n a high that it is similar to that experienced by drug usage. Some researchers have even gone as far as to speculate that binge or compulsive eaters suffer from an abnormality of the endorphin metabolism process within the brain. Other studies have shown that ingestion of so called comfort foods, typically high in carbohydrates; trigger the transmission and release of the neurotransmitter serotonin. These theories may account for some of the behavior of the compulsive over eater.

Recovery from compulsive overeating is readily treatable, and a combined counseling and therapy regimen has proven to be the most effective. Like all eating disorders, compulsive over eating is emotionally triggered, and it is necessary for emotional conflicts to be resolved before the healing can begin. If you or someone you know is suffering from compulsive overeating, seek help immediately. Suffering in silence does not have to be an option.

Eating Disorders
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