Overeating, also known as “emotional eating”, compulsive overeating is characterized by bingeing on large quantities of high carb and sugary foods. Often the teen is not even physically hungry when they start eating and cannot sense when they are full until they are uncomfortable. Teens typically binge when parents and other family members are gone due to the shame they feel about their uncontrollable behavior. They are often teased and bullied more than other teens if they are overweight which causes them to hide and binge even more.
Like alcoholism, an eating disorder is a disease that requires professional counseling, coaching and educational support. Therapy provides the opportunity for youth to share their experiences with a trusted mentor, express their feelings, and receive counseling for dealing with confusing situations and intense emotions, like anxiety or depression. Treatment for overeating is available.
Emotional and behavioral symptoms of binge-eating disorder may include:
Eating to the point of discomfort or pain
Eating more food during a binge episode than during a normal meal or snack
Eating faster during binge episodes
Inability to control eating behavior
Frequent dieting without weight loss
Frequently eating alone
Hiding empty food containers
Feeling depressed, disgusted or upset over the amount eaten
Depression or anxiety