Compulsive overeating involves overwhelming urges to eat, even when you’re not hungry or when you’re already full. Women and girls who struggle with compulsive overeating may feel like they’ve lost the ability to control how quickly or how much they eat.
As noted by the University of Rochester Medical Center, some people first engage in compulsive overeating as a way to soothe themselves when they are struggling with unpleasant emotions. Instead of helping, compulsive overeating can quickly become a source of emotional distress. This can push you into a downward spiral of compulsive eating, followed by feelings of embarrassment and guilt.
Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center offers individualized treatment for adult women and adolescent girls whose lives have been impacted by the signs, symptoms, and effects of compulsive overeating. We can help you manage the symptoms of compulsive overeating, regain control of your behaviors, and achieve improved physical and mental health.
Common Signs & Symptoms of Compulsive Overeating
The following are among the more common signs and symptoms of compulsive eating or compulsive overeating:
- Eating when you’re not hungry
- Continuing to eat after you feel full, even to the point where you feel uncomfortable
- Eating very quickly
- Using food to try to cope with stress or pressure
- Being unable to stop or slow down once you begin eating
- Eating alone or keeping your eating habits a secret
- Refusing to eat in front of others
- Feeling ashamed or guilty after eating
Compulsive overeating symptoms can be similar to episodes of binge-eating disorder (BED) and bulimia. However, a woman or girl may exhibit compulsive overeating symptoms without having either of these disorders.
Potential Effects of Compulsive Overeating
Compulsive overeating can be harmful to your physical, emotional, and social well-being.
The feelings of shame and guilt that often accompany compulsive overeating can have a damaging effect on your self-confidence. This, in turn, can undermine your ability to perform to your potential at work or in school, which can lead to career setbacks and financial difficulties.
Lying or being secretive about compulsive overeating can cause conflicts in your relationships with family members and friends. This can deprive you of valuable personal support at a time when you most need it.
From a medical perspective, the effects of compulsive overeating can include:
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease and other heart problems
- Sleep apnea
When you get treatment for compulsive overeating, you minimize your risk for continued harm, and you can begin to heal from any effects of compulsive overeating you’ve already experienced.
How to Choose a Compulsive Overeating Treatment Center
There is no single perfect type of treatment for women and girls who have been experiencing the signs and symptoms of compulsive overeating. When you’re seeking treatment, what’s most important is finding the compulsive overeating treatment center that provides the type and level of treatment that are right for you.
At Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, we offer two levels of compulsive overeating treatment:
- Our residential program accepts adolescent girls ages 12-17 and adult women age 18 and older. At this level, you’ll receive round-the-clock treatment for compulsive overeating. A member of your treatment team will be available 24/7 to provide you with the support you need.
- Our PHP accepts adult women age 18 and older. At this level, you’ll receive full days of compulsive overeating treatment. In the evenings and on days when programming is not in session, you can return home, or you may choose to stay in one of our on-campus residences.
At both levels, you will follow an individualized treatment plan, and you will work with a team of professionals who can help you learn to manage the symptoms of compulsive overeating.
Types of Therapy to Treat Compulsive Overeating
Our focus on individualized treatment for compulsive overeating means that no two women or girls will have identical experiences at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center.
But everyone who receives treatment for compulsive overeating with us can expect to benefit from certain fundamentals, such as our commitment to providing evidence-based, research-supported services within a safe and supportive treatment environment.
Depending on your needs, your individualized compulsive overeating treatment plan may include individual, group, family, and experiential therapies. You may also participate in:
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Motivational interviewing
Before you start treatment for compulsive overeating, a member of your treatment team will explain which types of therapies will be included in your individualized treatment plan. This professional will also explain the goals and principles of each activity so that you can receive maximum benefit from your treatment for compulsive overeating.
Your Pathway to Treatment
When you need treatment for compulsive overeating, we want to get you the help you need with minimal delay. Here is a quick overview of the steps you can take to enter our compulsive overeating treatment center:
- Introductory phone call with an admissions counselor (available 24/7)
- Initial screening (also accomplished over the phone)
- Admissions process, which includes scheduling your intake date
- Your arrival at our campus, meeting staff and other residents, and becoming familiar with our treatment environment and procedures
- Completing physical and psychological evaluations
- Developing your individualized compulsive overeating treatment plan
- Starting treatment for compulsive overeating
What Happens If I Have a Setback After Treatment?
When you receive compulsive overeating treatment, you will learn how to manage your symptoms, redefine your relationship with food, and develop healthier eating habits. Your care at our compulsive overeating treatment center will also help you identify the triggers that can push you back into compulsive overeating.
As you prepare to transition out of treatment, you will receive a detailed discharge plan. You will also learn more about our national alumnae network. Following your discharge plan, working on the skills you developed in treatment, and participating in alumnae activities can help you manage your compulsive overeating symptoms.
One of the most important lessons you will learn during compulsive overeating treatment is that asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of. At our compulsive overeating treatment center, you’ll discover that you are not alone, and that help is available when you need it.
If you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please know that Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center will always be here for you.
This content was reviewed and approved by the clinical staff at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center.