Eating Disorders

Eating Disorder

What Are Eating Disorders?

What Are Eating Disorders?

Many people do not learn about eating disorders until they or someone they love is in the thick of things. However, having a general knowledge about them could alert you to warning signs and help get you or your loved one help before it spirals out of control.

Here are some of the most common eating disorders.

Anorexia

Anorexia is characterized by the desire to not eat and the intrusive thoughts that one is fat. In many cases, the sufferer is underweight or on the low end of normal weight, yet they still think that they need to lose weight. One of the dominating theories regarding anorexia is that the person who is suffering has a control issue. They want to take control over one aspect of their life, their eating habits, when some other part is beyond their control. It is often diagnosed along with trauma, bipolar disorder, OCD, or other mental health issues.

Bulimia

Those who suffer from bulimia have the urge to vomit up their food after they eat. They may do this for a variety of reasons. They may want to be thinner. They may not like the feeling of food in their stomach. They may also have the control issues mentioned earlier. The sufferer can be any weight, ranging from dangerously thin to possibly overweight. This is an extremely dangerous disease. Ever time the bulimic vomits, they risk choking or serious injury to the throat.

Binge Eating

Binge eating is characterized by ingesting extreme amount of calories in a single sitting, even when the person is not hungry. They may have a feeling of emptiness that they are trying to fill. They may have a disregard for their health and want to live in the moment. They may mindlessly fill their stomachs with no realization of how much they are eating. Binge eaters are generally overweight, but they can be of an average weight as well. A binge eater may only engage in the behavior occasionally, making it difficult to diagnose.

Eating Disorder Treatment

The treatment options for eating disorders vary greatly. An individual may be able to recover with one-on-one or group therapy. However, if the illness has progressed far enough, they may need to be in a residential treatment facility to rebuild their strength, confidence, and let go of the eating disorder that has taken control of their life.