Eating Disorder

Symptoms of eating disorders

  • Eating very small little food or eating large quantity food within a short period of time (both happen regularly and feel uncontrolled)
  • Strict habits, routines, or rituals regarding food
  • Spending excessive amount of time thinking or worrying about food, body weight, or physical characteristics
  • Purposely making yourself sick or taking laxatives in response to eating
  • Avoiding social engagements that involve food
  • Social isolation and withdrawal
  • Significant changes in mood to include: anxious, depressed, withdrawn
  • Obsessive intrusive thoughts about body image or food

Types of eating disorders

  • Anorexia Nervosa: goal of keeping weight as low as possible, typically done through not eating enough or over-exercising. This is accompanied by fear based distorted thoughts about the body, with the belief that you’re heavier or larger than you are.
  • Bulimia Nervosa: An intrusive cycle of eating a lot of food (binge) and then engaging in preventative measures for weight gain (purge), to include: vomiting or use of laxatives.
  • Binge Eating: Eating large quantities of food in a short period of time, regularly. The behavior feels uncontrollable, invoking feelings of shame, guilt, anxiety or depression following the binge.
  • Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder: encompasses behaviors of disordered eating that do not fully align with previously listed disorders.

What causes eating disorders?

There is no singular cause linked to eating disorders; however it is believed that they develop from a variation of factors included below.

  • Biological factors – family history of disordered eating, hormone dysregulation, or neurological changes
  • Psychological factors – Low self esteem or confidence, perfectionism, anxiety, depression, stress
  • Social Factors – Abuse, neglect, trauma, bullying, interpersonal or professional challenges

Getting support

The path to recovery from eating disorders can feel challenging, scary, and at times feels impossible, however recovery IS possible. When you are ready to begin implementing new supports, begin with contacting your primary care physician, who can help provide a referral to a specialist for eating disorders.

Remember, everyone’s experience with eating disorders are different, so it’s important to work with a healthcare professional to develop a personalized plan for managing your symptoms and improving your quality of life.