Eating disorders, while very dangerous and life-threatening, are not considered to be addictions, rather very serious mental disorders manifesting themselves in hazardous and obsessive food consumption. Read here about the various kinds of eating disorders, their dangers, and the help available for the treatment of this dangerous disease.
Eating disorders have been a concern of society for decades with millions of people living dangerous lives or losing their lives to this disease. Eating disorders come in many different forms, effecting a wide variety of people. Eating disorders are generally traceable to self-esteem or self-image issues in most people. It is this low self-esteem that drives eating disorders in people of all genders and ages. While eating disorders are more common among young women, this disease is just as strong and devastating in older people and in men, as anyone can suffer from low self-esteem. There is no absolute determination as to which kind of eating disorder any given individual will suffer from as all the various forms of eating disorders are equally dangerous and life-threatening, but it is important to know the various types of eating disorders and the signs and symptoms of each.
Anorexia (Anorexia Nervosa) is an illness suffered by those who have low self esteem and an overwhelming desire to gain an unhealthy control over life. Sufferers of anorexia often struggle with both external and internal challenges such as depressio, anxiety, stress and unhappiness. Research has been able to make a connection between genetics and anorexia, with external environmental factors being the trigger.
Some signs of anorexia nervosa are hyer-sensitivity to weight and severe distortions in body image. Persons suffering from anorexia can displaybehaviors such as obsessive exercising, fat gram and calorie counting, restriction of food, and administration of diet pills and laxatives.
Bulemia (Bulemia Nervosa) is also rooted in low self esteem and is an illness that consists of binging and purging. Generally, sufferers of bulemia will overeat in a realtively short period of time, usually eating enough for two or more people, then purge themselves of the food consumed, often through means of vomitting. The binging behavior is usually a means by which sufferers will take out frustrations and anger or avoid them alltogether and purging is the way in which they will punish themselves for behavior which they believe is their fault. Genetic predisposition has been linked to bulemia with environmental factors triggering the disease.
Some signs of bulemia are frequent purging episodes followed by feelings of guilt and shame, the misuse of laxatives and diuretics, and over-exercising.
Compulsive Eating (Overeating) is rooted in the same low self esteem problems and is the closest eating disorder to addiction as food is used as an escape or a filler for a void in life. People suffering from compulsive eating are generally overweight and aware of their abnormal and unhealthy eating habits, but fail to find any comfort in their condition because of the negative stereotypes placed on overweight individuals. Often compulsive eaters will feel guilty and experience emotions of not being good enough. Unlike bulemia, compulsive eaters will binge on food when they experience periods of stress, pressure, unhappieness, and anxiety to ease the pain of their emotions.
Signs of compulsive eating are frequent unhealthy and abnormal eating habits, especially in times of high stress and unhappiness.
Over-exercise (Compulsive exercising) is classified as an eating disorder even though exercise is generally considered to be very healthy. Although exercsie is healthy, sufficient food and energy is required for exerscise to have a positive effect, and in compulsive exercising, that element is not present, making the exercise more damaging to the individual than helpful. Compulsive exercisers will exercise beyond what is considered safe and hold a perspective of not being able to eat if they haven’t exercised or if they don’t know they will be able to exercise. The activity of exercising for compulsive exercisers is to burn calories and fat from a binge or anything else consumed.
Some indications of compulsive exercising are exercsing by any means possible, including missing school, work, or hiding in the bathroom or bedroom to exercise. Compulsive excecisers will use excuses of not being able to exercise as to why they cannot eat at any given time.
In having the information about the various kinds of eating disorders, identifying a problem can become much easier, and treating that problem also becomes less daunting when you have the vital information. In searching for treatment for eating disorders, it is important to know what kind of eating disorder needs to be treated. Generally, rehab centers for eating disorders will be focused not only on the disease but place a heavy focus on building self-esteem and strengthening confidence while working to build a more realistic idea of healthy body weight and what activities are and are not healthy for maintaining a healthy body.
- If you have concerns about your eating disorder or that of someone close to you, please complete our free confidential online assessment and we will get right back to you to discuss your situation and some options for treatment. We are here to help and if there is anything we can assist you with, please don’t hesitate to get the help you need by contacting us or calling us. We want to do all we can to help.