When you eat too much food or eat too many fattening foods,
is this an eating pattern that has taken on a life of its own?
Compulsive overeating or any compulsive eating behavior,
while maladaptive, serves an important purpose. If you can, it’s best to think
about what this purpose is. Is it to calm yourself and give you a sense of
well-being? Is it to protect you from feeling certain disturbing feelings and
thinking about things that will upset you? Is it a way to exercise some control
over your life, even if ironically eating in these ways ends up making you feel
more out of control?
Signs that your pattern of eating is compulsive is that you
(1) have to do it (irresistible urge) and (2) it has a life of its own.