Compulsive overeating, which is also referred to as compulsive eating, is a behavioral disorder that can impact a person’s physical, mental, emotional, and social wellbeing. Characterized by an inability to control the quantity of food that one consumes, compulsive overeating is associated with myriad unhealthy issues, disorders, and behaviors.
Physically, compulsive overeaters are at an increased risk of becoming overweight or obese, which can, in turn, raise the likelihood that they will struggle with heart disease, hypertension, Type 2 Diabetes, and a host of other weight-related challenges. Mentally and emotionally, compulsive overeating is often accompanied by depression, feelings of shame, low self-esteem, and self-loathing. And in the social and behavioral realms, compulsive overeaters often develop the desire to withdraw and isolate themselves, which can exacerbate both their eating compulsion and co-occurring disorders and conditions.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. At Structure House, we understand exactly what compulsive eaters are going through and, perhaps more importantly, we know how to put them back on the path to physical, mental, social, and emotional health. Our comprehensive residential treatment program features a customizable array of nutritional, educational, and therapeutic opportunities that have proved to be highly effective in helping others overcome the challenges of compulsive overeating.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment Show More Show Less
If someone you care about is struggling with compulsive overeating, obesity, and related issues, then you are likely familiar with the frustrations and feelings of helplessness that can accompany these conditions. But what you may not realize is that there are several steps that you can take – some of which you can accomplish today – that will ease these frustrations, end this sense of helplessness, and put both you and your loved one on the path to a much more hopeful future.
The following are some of the ways that you can support your loved one’s efforts to overcome compulsive overeating:
- Learn more about compulsive overeating. Education is empowerment, and the more you learn about the issue your loved one is dealing with, the better prepared you will be to provide both support and advice.
- Research treatment programs. Depending upon the nature and severity of the issues your loved one is dealing with, treatment options can range from attending a weekly support group to enrolling in a residential program. Understanding the options is an essential early step in solving the problem.
- Stay by your loved one’s side. From driving to appointments or accompanying on program visits, your presence will be an important source of comfort, support, and motivation.
- Overcoming compulsive overeating and maintaining a healthy weight is a long-term effort that requires a strong support network. Do not let your loved one doubt that you are in his or her corner, and that you’ll always be there to celebrate the successes, ease the setbacks, and provide encouragement and moral support.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment Show More Show Less
For many people, getting their weight under control is primarily a matter of exerting a bit more self-control when it comes to their diet and exercise habits. For people who are struggling with compulsive overeating, though, the problem is much more than merely a lack of discipline.
As discussed earlier on this page, compulsive overeating is a complex behavioral disorder with several possible causes and a wide array of potential co-occurring conditions. People who are dealing with compulsive overeating are not demonstrating a lack of willpower, rather they are experiencing a mental health crisis that, if left untreated, can significantly limit their ability to live a healthy life.
In the absence of effective professional treatment, compulsive overeaters face a future that is fraught with physical, mental, social, and emotional struggles. Among the possible outcomes of untreated compulsive overeating are obesity and a myriad of related health problems, including depression and feeling of shame and self-loathing. Unfortunately, there’s also the unending stress of dealing with society’s many prevalent forms of weight-related stigma and discrimination.
By choosing to get help for their disorder, thousands of men and women who once struggled with compulsive overeating have regained control over their behaviors and are now living much happier, healthier lives. Failing to consider treatment for compulsive overeating and all contributing or co-occurring disorders denies the afflicted individual the opportunity to pursue the promising future that he or she both desires and deserves.
If you feel that you are in crisis, or are having thoughts about hurting yourself or others, please call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.
Types of Treatment Offered at Structure House Show More Show Less
At Structure House, we are fully committed to providing our participants with the treatment they need not only to lose weight, but to change their overall lifestyle for the better. We remain steadfast in filling our treatment center with exemplary, compassionate, and highly-trained staff members who make the wellbeing of all program participants their top priority. When individuals arrive at Structure House in need of treatment to overcome the symptoms of compulsive overeating, the members of our multidisciplinary treatment teams will do everything in their power to ensure not only that those symptoms are treated, but also that the necessary tools are developed to maintain recovery long after the patient has left Structure House.
The continuum of evidence-based treatment delivered by the staff at Structure House is based on behavioral psychology. This means that, rather than providing solely medical interventions in order to lose weight and achieve desired health goals, we offer participants scientifically-based behavioral interventions. These interventions are designed to educate participants, improve adherence to healthy lifestyle behaviors, reduce barriers to change, and address any underlying psychosocial or psychological concerns that may be interfering with one’s ability to overcome the symptoms of compulsive overeating.
The four-week new participant program at Structure House offers a variety of services that ensure that those individuals who engage in this program will meet their personal weight loss and overall health goals as they work towards overcoming the distorted perceptions that plague them in regards to their physical appearance. Upon admission, new participants at Structure House will receive two personal training sessions, a one-on-one clinical meeting with a therapist, and a one-on-one meeting with a nutrition specialist. Additionally, each new participant will be provided with a full battery of assessments, including laboratory testing and physical, nutritional, and psychological fitness evaluations. In order to accurately monitor the progress that has been made throughout the duration of treatment, all assessments will be administered prior to a participant’s engaging in the four-week program, and then again upon his or her completion of the program
In order to maintain clinical excellence and provide an all-encompassing approach to the care we offer here at Structure House, we provide participants with the opportunity to engage in the following treatment methods and therapeutic interventions as deemed necessary and appropriate by each patient’s treatment team:
Medication management: Appointments with psychiatrists are scheduled on an as-needed basis in order to monitor and manage any medication needs that may exist. These appointments can occur up to once a week, and two registered nurses on staff are also available to help with managing any further medication needs. If medical complications arise during a participant’s stay at Structure House, our staff will refer to the nearby community hospital. We pride ourselves in the wonderful relationships that we have with the hospitals in our area. Because of these strong relationships, we are able to ensure that participants will receive the appointments they need in a timely fashion.
Individual therapy: Upon admission to Structure House, each new participant will complete a 60-minute psychological intake session. Upon completion of programming, he or she will complete a 50-minute exit session. Structure House alumni who are returning to our center for treatment will complete 25-minute sessions. Any additional individual sessions that occur during one’s stay at Structure House are optional and will be delivered on an as-needed basis. These individual sessions are conducted by licensed clinical psychologists or licensed clinical social workers.
Family therapy: Family counseling sessions are held at the discretion of each program participant. These sessions can be requested at any time, with decisions regarding one’s engagement in family therapy to be determined collaboratively by the patient and his or her therapist.
Group therapy: Group therapy is a strong component of the treatment offered to Structure House clients. These sessions consist of two 50-minute support groups each week, along with three 50-minute psychoeducational groups each week. Support groups are designed to be interpersonal and interactive, while the psychoeducational groups address a number of different topics, including but not limited to, the following:
- Stress management
- Trigger awareness
- Mindful eating
- Relapse and recovery
- Lifestyle change
- Support at home
Additionally, specialty topics are also frequently included in these psychoeducational groups and can include discussions regarding body image, motivation, self-esteem, addictive behavior, healthy relationships, and self-compassion.
Experiential therapy: At Structure House, we are proud to offer a number of experiential therapies that are designed to help participants who are battling compulsive overeating reconnect with their bodies in a healthy manner, challenge negative beliefs and expectations regarding exercise, and learn to modify any existing exercise routines in order to meet their current needs and limitations. These experiential therapies, along with additional physical activities, occur on a daily basis and may include the following:
- Experiential meals
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Mindful meditation
- Restaurant outings
- Supermarket outings
- Role play
- Empathy chair techniques
- Recreational activities that include Pilates, Zumba, water kickboxing, water fitness, guided walks, yoga, and stretching, among many more
- Massages (for an additional cost)
- Additional personal training sessions (for an additional cost)
Additional services: In order to fully meet the needs of all Structure House participants, including those who are suffering from compulsive overeating, we offer specialized tracks that clients may choose to engage in. These services are offered in addition to Structure House’s core residential program, and they use the latest scientific approaches to target any existing health concerns. These specialized programming tracks include the following:
- Diabetes program: This program delivers state-of-the-art treatment and education in order to promote safe and effective care for diabetes.
- Binge-eating program: Participants who opt to engage in this program will receive additional individual and group sessions that are tailored specifically to address the emotional, social, psychological, and behavioral factors that contribute to binge-eating behaviors
- Smoking cessation program: This program offers assistance and support to individuals who desire to overcome their addiction to smoking.
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment Show More Show Less
When individuals are plagued by the symptoms of compulsive overeating, recovery will continue long after residential treatment has been completed. Ongoing support and continuing care are necessary to encourage clients to adhere to the changes that they have made and to help them to achieve lasting treatment outcomes.
Clients who have completed our four-week core weight loss program will have a number of options for continuing care. Structure House provides therapy sessions via phone or Internet for clients on an as-needed basis, including weekly sessions when desired. Some clients decide that they need more time at our treatment center and choose to commit to longer-term stays. These extended-stay participants can use our program on a service-by-service basis, depending on what their needs and desires may be. Additionally, some of our former participants choose to live off-campus in the community, but still opt to engage in group or individual sessions. These individuals, who are known as our Triangle Club Members, may also use our center for exercise, meals, and classes. Finally, we offer a return program for Structure House alumni who wish to participate again in the core program.
The intensive program at Structure House is designed to help each person who comes to us meet his or her weight loss goals and learn everything needed to continue to maintain these healthy changes upon returning home. When you are struggling with compulsive overeating, it can seem like an intimidating step to begin receiving treatment. Let the staff at Structure House make this a comfortable process for you as we help you achieve life-changing recovery and long-term success.