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WHAT IS AN EATING DISORDER?

 


 

There are many types of eating disorders, some you will have heard of and some you may not. Each one of them however is a serious condition.

 

CAUSES:

 

The causes of eating disorders are a complex subject with each sufferer different from the next. These causes can be social, psychological and biological.

 

They can be: 

 

  • A coping mechanism as a result of emotional and psychological problems

 

  • Caused by negative body image and low self-esteem

 

  • As a result of genetics 

 

For more general information on eating disorders please visit the NHS website by clicking here

TYPES OF EATING DISORDER

 


 

Anorexia Nervosa (Source: NHS)

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder and mental health condition that can be life-threatening.

People with anorexia try to keep their weight as low as possible, usually by restricting the amount of food they eat. They often have a distorted image of themselves, thinking that they're fat when they're not.  

Some people with the condition also exercise excessively, and some eat a lot of food in a short space of time (binge eating) and then make themselves sick or use laxatives (purging).

People affected by anorexia often go to great lengths to hide their behaviour from family and friends by lying about eating and what they have eaten, or by pretending to have eaten earlier.


  • For Anorexia Nervosa symptoms please visit NHS.

 


 

Bulemia Nervosa (Source: NHS)


Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder and mental health condition.

People who have bulimia try to control their weight by severely restricting the amount of food they eat, then binge eating and purging the food from their body by making themselves sick or using laxatives. 

As with other eating disorders, bulimia nervosa can be associated with depression, low self-esteem, misuse of alcohol and self-harm.


  • To learn more about the causes of bulimia nervosa, visit NHS.

Binge Eating Disorder (Source: NHS)

Binge eating is an eating disorder where a person feels compelled to overeat on a regular basis.

People who binge eat consume very large quantities of food over a short period of time and they often eat even when they are not hungry. Binges are often planned and can involve the person buying "special" binge foods.

Episodes of binge eating often alternate with periods where the person severely cuts down on the amount of food they eat, which can make the problem worse.

Binge eating usually takes place in private, with the person feeling that they have no control over their eating. They will often have feelings of guilt or disgust after binge eating. These feelings highlight underlying psychological issues, such as:


  • low self-esteem and lack of confidence
  • depression – feelings of extreme sadness that last for a long time
  • anxiety – a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can range from mild to severe


These feelings can be made worse over time while the person is still binge eating.


  • For Bulemia Nervosa symptoms, visit NHS.

  


 

EDNOS (Source: B-EAT)

EDNOS stands for 'Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified'

Eating disorders are very complex which means that there can be variations in the typical signs and symptoms and that not all of the signs and symptoms will apply to all people. There are many people that are diagnosed with EDNOS.

These are disorders where you have some but not all of the diagnostic signs for anorexia or bulimia. You may also be diagnosed with a ‘partial syndrome’ eating disorder if for example you are a woman with anorexia who has irregular or normal periods, or perhaps your bulimic episodes are very infrequent.

  • For information on how EDNOS is diagnosed, visit B-EAT.