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, and psychologist who specializes in treating women and girls with AD/HD.
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