Everybody eats too much sometimes. After all, what would the point of Thanksgiving be if it wasn’t to stuff ourselves? At what point does an occasional indulgence turn into a real problem? Compulsive overeating is when you eat for reasons other than hunger and past the point of feeling full. People suffering with this eating disorder tend to be overweight, and are usually aware that their eating habits are abnormal.
Overeaters Anonymous offers this partial list for those who might have a problem with compulsive overeating. Compulsive overeating effects are serious. If you answer yes to several of these questions, then you may want to consider looking more closely at the issue.
• Do you eat when you’re not hungry?
• Do you go on eating binges for no apparent reason?
• Do you have feelings of guilt and remorse after overeating?
• Do you give too much time and thought to food?
• Do you look forward with pleasure and anticipation to the time when you can eat alone?
• Do you plan these secret binges ahead of time?
• Do you eat sensibly before others and make up for it alone?
• Do you hide your food?
• Have you tried to diet for a week (or longer), only to fall short of your goal?
Depression is one hypothesis for why people become binge eaters. But no one is really sure if depression comes first and leads to binge eating or vice versa. It is more common for people with the disorder to behave impulsively and have other emotional problems, however. Regardless, professional help with or without medication is often indicated.