What is an Eating Disorder?
What do you think when you hear the word eating disorder? Often times people may think it may be starving yourself to be”skinny” but in reality it is much more than that; an issue that may not be talked about enough.
Eating disorders are defined as “ behavioral conditions characterized by severe and persistent disturbance in eating behaviors and associated distressing thoughts and emotions”.
This behavior can result from an array of different factors but in order to fully comprehend the reality of it let’s asses a little further.
What are the different types of eating disorders?
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Bulimia Nervosa
- Muscle Dysmorphia
- Binge Eating Disorder
- Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder
About Eating Disorders
Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by an abnormally low body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight and a perception of weight that is distorted. This immense need to control weight can be done through excessive restriction of food intake, vomiting after eating or purging by misusing medication.
Bulimia Nervosa is seen in people who may eat large amounts of food then purge to get rid of the calories.
Muscle Dysmorphia is a disorder where one spends most of their time being preoccupied with the fact that they are too small or not muscular enough- when they are in fact at a normal size. This is said to be more commonly seen in men.
Binge Eating disorder is an eating disorder where one frequently consumes large amounts of food and feel unable to stop eating. It is common for everyone to over eat at some point but with this disorder overeating is a common occurrence and is often followed by a feeling of embarrassment or guilt.
Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder is used to characterize disorders that don't quite fit in with those previously mentioned or disorders that may borrow symptoms from more than one of them.
What to do if you think you have an eating disorder?
It is important to note that just like with many mental health issues manifestation may vary from person to person- but if you think that you do have an eating disorder you should talk to someone! This is not something that you need to try to control by yourself. Speaking to a licensed mental health professional that specializes in eating disorders is a great place to start. They can help you identify the issue and help plan a course of action to deal with it.
At Kiira we have just onboarded a new Practitioner that specializes in Eating Disorders. So if you or someone you know would like to address concerns about disordered eating we can help!