The 5 Types of Overeaters: Type 5 Anxious Overeaters

Blog-The 5 Types of Overeaters Type 5 Anxious Overeaters

A diet that works well for one person may be completely wrong for another person.

Why? Different brain systems drive different tendencies and behaviors. Most diets fail because they take a one-size-fits-all approach. Our work with SPECT imaging has shown us that there are multiple types of overeaters:

• Some are compulsive
• Some are impulsive
• Some are compulsive AND impulsive
• Some eat to improve their mood
• And, some eat to calm their worries

Introducing Type 5: Anxious Overeater

People with this type tend to use food to medicate their feelings of
• Anxiety
• Tension
• Nervousness
• Fear

They may be plagued by feelings of panic and self-doubt, and suffer physical symptoms of anxiety, such as:

1. Muscle tension
2. Nail biting
3. Headaches
4. Abdominal pain
5. Heart palpitations
6. Shortness of breath
7. Sore muscles

It is as if anxious overeaters have an overload of tension and emotion. They tend to predict the worst and often complain of waiting for something bad to happen. They may be excessively shy, easily startled, and freeze in emotionally charged situations.

Certain behaviors and substances can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and make anxious overeaters more likely to eat in an attempt to make those feelings go away.

For example:

• Focusing on the negative
• Believing every negative thought they have
• Too much caffeine or other stimulating substances
• Drinking alcohol

What SPECT Tells Us

The SPECT scans of anxious overeaters often show increased activity in the basal ganglia, which is commonly caused by low levels of the calming neurotransmitter GABA.

Interventions to boost GABA combined with relaxation techniques that calm the brain are generally the most helpful.

We Can Help Today

If you would like to learn more about how Amen Clinics can help you with the stress, anxiety, or panic or overeating in your life, call us today at 877-335-8941 or visit our website. You CAN change your brain and change your life!


  1. Best ways/supplements/foods/drinks/tricks etc to boost energy

    Comment by Carol — March 6, 2018 @ 7:24 AM

  2. Hello Carol, Dr. Amen has a line of supplements that can be found here –

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 6, 2018 @ 1:46 PM

  3. Are there any Amen Clinic in the San Francisco area or near by the Bay Area? I have been reading all the newsletters that from Amen clinics, and I’m curious if this clinic is accessible in the area where I live.

    Comment by Patricia — May 26, 2018 @ 10:24 AM

  4. Hello Patricia, yes we have a clinic near you in Walnut Creek, CA. Here is more information on that clinic:

    Comment by Amen Clinics — May 29, 2018 @ 7:39 AM

  5. What is the closest/best way to refer or gain an appointment from Southern MN?

    Comment by Joy — June 25, 2018 @ 1:30 PM

  6. Hello Joy, thank you for reaching out. Our clinic locations are listed here: If you’re unable to make it to one of our clinics from MN, our Care Coordinators can provide referral sources in your area of practice that engage in SPECT imaging or practice The Amen Clinics Method. We can be reached at 888-288-9834.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — June 25, 2018 @ 2:17 PM

  7. I have Anxiety,Tension, Nervousness and Fear.I take Lorazepam .I want to stop taking this Meds. what can I do ?

    Comment by Elisabeth A Compton — March 8, 2019 @ 8:12 AM

  8. I live in Vero Beach Fl any clinic near me
    How expensive is it. I have a Medicare advantage ins plan do they take it

    Comment by JoAnn Johnson — March 9, 2019 @ 3:28 AM

  9. Is the medication Gabapentin and the GABA mentioned for anxious eaters similar ?

    Comment by Cheryl — March 9, 2019 @ 7:16 AM

  10. I’m a compulsive overeater. Can Forskolin and Garcenia help and are they safe to take separately together?

    Comment by Alice — March 16, 2019 @ 6:13 AM

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