Compulsive Eating and Shopping


"Whenever I feel down, I eat and shop uncontrollably. I know I need to stop, but I can't. Help!"


Compulsive eating and shopping are common problems for ADDers. It's hard to "just not do" a compulsive habit. Instead, substitute a healthy "fix" when you're feeling down. Take a hot bath, go for a walk, talk to a friend, or drink a cup of tea. If you find it hard to manage this, weekly meetings with a therapist can help keep you on track.

Ask your doctor whether adjusting the dosage of your ADD medication, or switching to a new drug, might help rein in your compulsive eating and shopping. And your doctor may wish to evaluate you for depression, since it, too, can cause the behaviors you describe.

Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D., is director of the Chesapeake ADHD Center of Maryland in Silver Spring. She is a psychologist who has practiced for over thirty years, specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. She has served on the professional advisory boards of both CHADD and ADDA. She is the co-founder of the National Center for Gender Issues in ADHD, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the needs of girls and women with ADHD. Dr. Nadeau has appeared on the Today Show, the Morning Show, as well as on numerous radio programs is a frequent lecturer both in the US and abroad on topics related to ADHD.
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