Anorexia is characterized by a distorted view of body weight and shape and an intense fear of gaining weight. Individuals with anorexia may become obsessed with thinking about food, frequently skip meals or develop obsessive rituals around their food. They may binge and purge similar to those with bulimia. Anorexia affects more teenagers than adults and women more than men. An anorexic teen may try to hide their disorder by lying about already having eaten and attempting to hide their weight loss with bulky clothing. While most who suffer from anorexia are underweight, this disorder can affect people with bodies of any size.
Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is defined as an eating or feeding disturbance that results in persistent failure to meet appropriate nutritional and/or energy needs. Individuals with ARFID most often do not present with body image disturbance or fear of weight gain. Instead those with ARFID may show a lack of interest in eating or food, avoid food based on a sensory experiences (i.e. taste, texture), or due to concern about negative consequences of eating such as vomiting or feeling nauseas.
Binge Eating Disorder (BED) – People with BED eat compulsively or for emotional comfort to the point of feeling out of control. A session of binge eating is often followed by feelings of shame, embarrassment, and harsh self-judgment. BED is the most common eating disorder in the US and often goes unrecognized and untreated. If you ignore signals of satiety and feel like you can’t control your compulsive eating, you may be suffering from BED.
Bulimia can be defined as a cycle of binge eating and self-induced purges, such as vomiting or over exercise. If left untreated, Bulimia eventually affects the digestive system, leading to nutritional deficiencies and chemical imbalances. This in turn can affect the major organs and even lead to cardiac arrest. Effective treatment helps prevent or reverse complications by establishing healthier eating patterns.
Orthorexia while not yet formally recognized, is an eating disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts about healthy food. A person suffering from orthorexia will have established a “correct” and healthy diet for themselves and any deviation from their chosen diet is met with anxiety, panic, or judgment. A person with orthorexia may find themselves looking down on others for not eating as healthily as they do. They may avoid social situations in order to maintain control of the food they have available and may become panicked or distressed if there are no “healthy” options. Orthorexia may go unnoticed at first by friends or by the sufferer themselves since we don’t normally associate a healthy diet with a mental disorder but researchers have found that those with this condition share many of the same physiological and behavioral traits as those who suffer from more widely recognized eating disorders.
Post-Surgical Eating Disorder is a term that is used for eating related concerns after Bariatric/Weight Loss Surgery. The guidelines for post-surgical eating habits and nutritional intake can be difficult to understand and follow. Individuals often approaches these changes with a "diet mindset" which leads to difficulties when they reach their goal. in addition, preparation for the surgery as well as the rapid weight loss after the operation can be triggers for disordered eating practices. Vitamin deficiency as well as disordered eating practices like grazing, overeating, as well as, severe restricting can impact the ability to reach one's goals after the surgery.
Other concerns include
Body Image Concerns can cause a person to become completely preoccupied with the perceived negative aspects of their appearance. They may engage in constant body checking, finding it nearly impossible to pass by a mirror without examining one of their perceived flaws. Those who suffer from BII may be told numerous times by others that they are beautiful or that they look just fine but these words have little effect on the sufferer’s perception of themselves. BII often begins in adolescence and equally affects men and women.
Exercise Addiction While regular exercise can be beneficial, a person can develop an addiction to the way it makes them feel, continuing to engage in intense workouts despite injuries, fatigue, and severe weight loss. Excercise addition is often accompanied by a preoccupation with weight, size, or body appearance. It can interfere with a person’s social life and may detract from normal self-care activities like rest, physical nourishment, and nurturing relationships.
Improve Your Relationship with Food If you don’t think you have an eating disorder but are still concerned about your relationship with food, therapy might just the reset you need. Yo-yo dieting, food fear, and finding yourself thinking too much about food, are all signs that you might benefit from some support to help you tap into your intuition and reframe the way you think about nourishing your body.
The International Association of Eating Disorders (IADEP) has establish credentialing in the treatment of eating disorders. I am a psychologists who have been awarded the Certified Eating Disorders Specialist distinction.
510 900 0012
901 Moraga Road #D
Lafayette, CA 94549