Disorders in this Category
Anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by markedly reduced appetite or total aversion to food. Anorexia is a serious psychological disorder and is a condition that goes well beyond out-of-control dieting. With anorexia, the drive to become thinner is actually secondary to concerns about control and/or fears relating to one’s body. There are psychological and behavioral symptoms as well as physical symptoms of anorexia including: depression, social withdrawal, fatigue, food obsession, heart and gastrointestinal complications, kidney function, flaky skin, brittle nails, and tooth loss (this list is not exhaustive).
Bulimia is an eating disorder characterized by episodes of secretive excessive eating (bingeing) followed by inappropriate methods of weight control, such as self-induced vomiting (purging), abuse of laxatives and diuretics, or excessive exercise. Purging and non purging are the two types of bulimia. There are five basic criteria in the diagnosis of bulimia.
Binge Eating Disorder
Most of us overeat from time to time, and many people often feel they’ve eaten more than they should have. Eating a lot of food does not always mean that a person has binge eating disorder. Doctors generally agree that most people with serious binge eating problems often:
- feel their eating is out of control
- eat what most people would think is an unusually large amount of food
- eat much more quickly than usual during binge episodes
- eat until so full they are uncomfortable
- eat large amounts of food, even when they are not really hungry
- eat alone because they are embarrassed about the amount of food they eat
- feel disgusted, depressed, or guilty after overeating
Emotional eating is the practice of consuming large quantities of food-usually “comfort” or junk foods-in response to feelings instead of hunger. Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions.
Many of us learn that food can bring comfort, at least in the short-term. As a result, we often turn to food to heal emotional problems. Eating becomes a habit preventing us from learning skills that can effectively resolve our emotional distress.
Depression, boredom, loneliness, chronic anger, anxiety, frustration, stress, problems with interpersonal relationships and poor self-esteem can result in overeating and unwanted weight gain.
By identifying what triggers our eating, we can substitute more appropriate techniques to manage our emotional problems and take food and weight gain out of the equation.