The Three Major Eating Disorders
In our modern age, it is not uncommon for people to be obsessed with the way they look. Images with unrealistic beauty standards bombard us every day on magazines, TV, billboards, and the internet. As airbrushing and CGI have made it easier and easier for today’s celebrities to look better than is possible for the average person, many are left frustrated with the way they look. Unfortunately, that has contributed to many suffering from eating disorders. Here are the three major types.
- Anorexia Nervosa: People suffering from anorexia nervosa aim to keep a body weight lower than that at which their bodies would normally function. They often have an irrational fear of body fat or gaining weight. To achieve a low weight, they will diet, avoid food, purge via vomiting or laxatives, and/or work out in excess. Unfortunately, this leaves those with anorexia nervosa at weights that are unhealthy for their bodies. Essentially, they are starving themselves, which can lead to heart complications and osteoporosis. If gone untreated, anorexia can be fatal.
- Bulimia Nervosa: Bulimia nervosa is characterized by a similar fear of body fat, but it manifests differently. Those with bulimia nervosa will go through periods of binge eating, during which food is rapidly consumed and the individual may feel he or she has lost control of eating behaviors. This is followed by feelings of shame. To overcome that feeling, the individual will take on purging behaviors in an attempt to regain control of their weight. Purging may include an extreme diet, fasting, excessive exercising, self-induced vomiting, or abusing laxatives. Individuals suffering from bulimia are often in the typical weight or slightly overweight range.
- Binge Eating Disorder: Those who suffer from binge eating disorder will have eating episodes that will feel and appear out of control. Unlike those with bulimia nervosa, they will not try to purge their bodies of the excess calories. Binge eating episodes may elicit feelings of shame.
Do one of these eating disorders sound like something that is affecting you or someone in your family? Obsession with food and your body does not have to define your days. To get the help to lead your healthiest life, contact the Community Presbyterian Counseling Center. Located in San Ramon, California, our dedicated team is here to guide you on the path to emotional and physical health.