Eating disorders are characterized by disturbances in eating behavior. Eating Disorders have become so common in this country that it becoming hard to remember what "normal" is. There are three types of eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating.
Anorexia is characterized by failure to maintain body weight of at least 85% of what is expected, fear of losing control over your weight or of becoming 'fat.' There is typically a distorted body image, where the individual sees themselves as overweight despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Anorexia and the underlying causes are very treatable, but can easily lead to severe physical problems and death if it is allowed to continue.
- Preoccupation with food, calories, and nutrition
- Denial of hunger
- Excessive dieting and/or exercising
- Frequent weighing
- Claiming to "feel" fat while continuing to lose weight
- Distorted body image
- Feeling bloated or nauseated after eating normal or less than normal amounts of food
- Hair loss
- Feeling cold even though the temperature is normal
- Interruption of menstrual cycle (for women)
Bulimia is characterized by bingeing (the intake of large quantities of food) and purging (elimination of the food through artificial means such as forced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives, periods of fasting, or excessive exercise).
- Excessive concern about weight
- Strict dieting followed by periods of binge eating
- Reacting to emotional stress by overeating
- Expressing guilt or shame about eating
- Depressive moods
- Feeling out of control in situations involving food
- Possible weight fluctuations
- Vomiting after eating
- Excessive use of laxative or diuretics
- Obsessive exercising
Binge Eating Disorder is characterized by the consumption of very large amounts of food in a short period of time. By far this is the most prevalent eating disorder in the U.S. it actually is considered a Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It is seen more in adults than children unlike the other eating disorders. What makes this an eating disorder is the addiction to eating large amounts of food and repeated relapsing while trying to return to healthy eating.
- Eating in the absence of hunger
- Feeling out of control when eating
- Feeling guilty about eating
- Eating during stressful times to feel better
To learn more about eating disorders and local support groups visit The Elisa Project.
The Insights therapist who specializes in working with eating disorders is Suzanne Johndrow Feiler. Call Insights Therapy today at 214.706.0508, click here to email us, or click here to schedule an appointment. Insights offers flexible scheduling with daytime, evening and weekend appointments.