Eating is supposed to be an enjoyable experience that leaves you feeling satisfied and energized. But for many people, eating is a stressful event: It can cause feelings of guilt and shame, and it can overpower all other thoughts.

These are all signs of compulsive eating, a serious but treatable eating disorder. Use the information below to figure out if you or a friend might have the condition, and learn what you can do about it.

How to Tell If There's a Problem

If you think you or a friend might have this problem, there is something you can do. First, you must identify the problem. Use the questions below as a guideline; If you answer yes to any of them, you may be a compulsive overeater.
  • Do you eat until you feel stuffed or uncomfortable?
  • Do you eat when you're not hungry?
  • Does stress, emotional upset, anxiety or depression cause you to overeat?
  • Do you feel unable to stop eating?
  • Do you become anxious or worried while you are eating?
Why It's Important to Get Help

Overeating can lead to weight gain, which may trigger a host of other health problems, including high blood pressure, elevated blood cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease, heart disease and certain types of cancer. Compulsive eating is not just a problem for overweight people. The condition can affect your self-esteem and leave you feeling out of control.
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