Therapy Toronto Psychotherapy Definitions

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Compulsive or Emotional Eating
Compulsive or emotional eating is an eating disorder similar to bulimia, except without the regular purging that is characteristic of the latter.


Compulsive eaters either binge on large amounts of food or nibble snacks continuously throughout the day. They usually feel emotionally 'empty' or unhappy and use food as a way of self-soothing or relieving depression. Constant overeating leads to feelings of self-loathing, shame and guilt, yet feeling unable to do anything about it.

Compulsive eaters tend to feel as though they are failures. They remain overweight even though they have been dieting for most of their life. Although self-educated experts with diets and nutrition, they have great difficulty maintaining any real weight loss over time. They do not often consider the emotional triggers into their eating behaviours.(AD)

See also Bulimia Nervosa and Eating disorders.
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