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There’s Help. There’s Hope! The Emily Program is a warm and welcoming place where individuals and their families can find comprehensive treatment for eating disorders and related issues. This blog is a place for us to share the latest happenings at The Emily Program, as well as helpful tidbits from the broader eating disorder community. Subscribe via RSS to receive automatic updates.We want to hear your story. Email us and ask how you can become a contributor!

Compulsive Overeating

Cheeseburgers and fries

Individuals who struggle with compulsive overeating typically eat excessive amounts of food—but not because they are hungry. These individuals eat to feel better, to cope with negative emotions. However, upon eating, the opposite happens. They feel a loss of control, shame, guilt, and as if they lack willpower. From there, the cycle of overeating begins again.

What exactly is compulsive overeating?

Compulsive overeating is a description of an eating disorder behavior, but it is not a diagnosis in itself. Typically, individuals who engage in compulsive overeating are diagnosed with bulimia if they engage in purging or binge eating disorder if no purging behaviors are present.

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Episode 9: Jessie Diggins’ Recovery Story

Jessie Diggins at TEP's Anniversary Celebration

Episode description:

Olympic gold medalist and eating disorder recovery advocate Jessie Diggins joins Peace Meal to share her recovery story. Plagued with bulimia in her late teens, Jessie found eating disorder recovery at The Emily Program and continued on to find Olympic success in skiing.

Episode show notes:

Jessie Diggins is an Olympic athlete and gold medalist in cross-country skiing who has won numerous other medals and honors at various championships around the world. In high school, Jessie suffered from bulimia, an eating disorder classified by the consumption of food followed by purging behaviors.

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Eating Disorders and Substance Use Disorders Comorbidity

Medication

Many individuals with eating disorders also struggle with alcohol and drugs. In fact, about half of all individuals diagnosed with an eating disorder also have a substance use disorder. Let’s take a look at the nature of both eating disorders and substance use disorders so we can examine their relationship and how to best treat these disorders when they co-occur.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are real, complex illnesses that are affected by biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors in an individual’s life. Eating disorders are characterized by a disturbance in eating or food behaviors and are often accompanied by negative body image. Eating disorders often co-occur with other mental health disorders such as substance use, anxiety, or depression. Eating disorders are categorized in the DSM-5 as follows:

Anorexia Nervosa. Anorexia revolves around the restriction of food intake and an obsession with body weight, size, or shape. It is the most fatal of all mental illnesses. Warning signs in preteens and teens may include a refusal to maintain an age-appropriate weight, body dysmorphia, over-exercising, and restrictive behavior around food.

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I Am

Erica Barreiro

**Content warning: some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, or symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your therapist or support system when needed.

Erica Barreiro is currently in her sophomore year of college at Kent State University studying Nursing. She loves to read, go hiking, and spend time with her family. Most of all, she likes helping people anytime she can! 

I am sixteen and sad. My dad takes me to get my first debit card and I just received my driver license. It is summer, the days are warm and long, and sunshine should be in my veins, however I am numb. I am sixteen and I took a sandwich to my bedroom to put it deep beneath my trash. I am sixteen and I have lost count of the days where food used to be a priority. I am sixteen when I found a more destructive way to try and solve my pain. Maybe I was trying to put the sunshine into my veins… I was sixteen when my dad found out, when I cried and screamed, “I can’t eat, I burned myself”. I was sixteen when he sat me down “to figure it out.” I was sixteen when he made me three scrambled eggs to remind myself food is of essence. I was sixteen when he told me to “be strong,” to “face my problems head on,” and most of all to “move on.” “Don’t worry your mother, she works a lot.” I was sixteen when my eating disorder most likely started.

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