An eating disorder is an illness that causes serious disturbances to your everyday diet, such as eating extremely small amounts of food or severely overeating. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more spiraled out of control. Severe distress or concern about body weight or shape may also signal an eating disorder. There is a commonly held view that eating disorders are a lifestyle choice. Eating disorders are actually serious and often fatal illnesses that cause severe disturbances to a person’s eating behaviors. Obsessions with food, body weight, and shape may also signal an eating disorder. Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.

Types

There are three types of eating disorders

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Binge Eating Disorder

Amina Javed 00Ms. Amina Javed is currently working as a Clinical Psychologist at Willing Ways, Lahore. In 2015, she completed her MS in clinical psychology, from Centre Clinical Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore. She had training of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, Behavior Therapy and she is interested in Dialectic Behavior Therapy as well.

Editor: Hameeda Batool

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa has four characteristics: refusal to maintain a normal body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight and being fat, a distorted body image and amenorrhea. Anorexia usually begins in early teen and it is more common in women. People with anorexia nervosa loss a tremendous amount of weight. Around 70 percent women with anorexia nervosa eventually recover, but it can take many years. People with anorexia nervosa may see themselves as overweight, even when they are dangerously underweight. People with anorexia nervosa typically weigh themselves repeatedly, severely restrict the amount of food they eat, and eat very small quantities of only certain foods. Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder. While many young women and men with this disorder die from complications associated with starvation, others die of suicide. In women, suicide is much more common in those with anorexia than with most other mental disorders.

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Symptoms of anorexia nervosa include:

  • Refusal to maintain normal body weight
  • Body image disturbance
  • Extremely restricted eating
  • Extreme thinness (emaciation)
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Distorted body image, a self-esteem that is heavily influenced by perceptions of body weight and shape, or a denial of the seriousness of low body weight