WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON EATING DISORDERS?
Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an abnormally low body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted perception of weight. People with anorexia place a high value on controlling their weight and shape, using extreme efforts that tend to significantly interfere with their lives. To prevent weight gain or to continue losing weight, people with anorexia usually restrict the amount of food they eat. With treatment, you can gain a better sense of who you are, return to healthier eating habits and reverse some of anorexia’s serious complications.
Bulimia Nervosa, is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder. People with bulimia may secretly binge — eating large amounts of food with a loss of control over the eating — and then purge, trying to get rid of the extra calories in an unhealthy way. Because it’s related to self-image — and not just about food — bulimia can be hard to overcome. Effective treatment can help you feel better about yourself, adopt healthier eating patterns and reverse serious complications.
Individuals with Binge Eating Disorder or Compulsive Overeating feel out of control and eat too much (binge), at least once a week for at least three months. During binges individuals with binge eating disorder usually eat faster than normal, eat until they are uncomfortable, eat when they are not physically hungry, and feel embarrassed, disgusted, or depressed because of the binges. Binge eating disorder affects individuals of all races and ethnicities. It is the most common eating disorder among Hispanic, Asian-American, and African American individuals.
Night Eating Syndrome Night eating syndrome (NES) is a condition that combines overeating at night with sleep problems. With NES, you eat a lot after dinner, have trouble sleeping, and eat when you wake up at night. If you have NES, you eat at least a quarter of your daily calories after dinner and wake up to eat at least twice a week, you may have NES if you also have at least three of these:
- Lack of appetite in the morning
- A strong urge to eat between dinner and sleep
- Insomnia four or five nights a week
- A belief that eating is necessary to get to sleep or get back to sleep
- A depressed mood that gets worse during evening hours
Night eating syndrome is different from binge eating disorder. With binge eating disorder, you are more likely to eat a lot at a single sitting. If you have NES, it’s likely that you eat smaller amounts throughout the night.
Everyone knows about anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder, however, Eating Disorders (NOS), which has only recently begun to receive recognition, can be as equally dangerous and life consuming as its better known counterparts. Eating disorders, Not Otherwise Specified is a “category disorders of eating that do not meet the criteria of a specific eating disorder”.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM SUFFING FROM AN EATING DISORDER? ARE THERE ANY WARNING SIGNS?
Warning signs are similar to other mental illnesses, and depression and anxiety symptoms are commonly comorbid diagnoses. There is often withdrawal from social activities, a loss of interest in previous activities/friends/family, and preoccupations with food or exercise. People with eating disorders often avoid eating around others but may like to make food for others. Weight loss suggests significant food restriction, and weight loss in the context of eating a lot, can suggest purging behaviors.
HOW DO I OPEN UP ABOUT MY ISSUES?
If you are able to recognize disordered eating attitudes and behaviors in yourself, you have already taken the first step toward a happy, healthy, balanced way of life. The second step—telling a trusted friend, family member, or professional counselor/nutritionist—is equally as important.
WHAT’S THE FIRST STEP TO TREATMENT?
Early detection, initial evaluation, and effective treatment are important steps that can help an eating disorder sufferer move into recovery more quickly, preventing the disorder from progressing to a more severe or chronic state.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE RELAPSE?
Relapse happens for some seeking eating disorder treatment. When a patient relapses, they are re-evaluated and admitted to the appropriate level of care based on their medical and psychological needs.