People commonly misperceive that individuals with eating disorders are “vain” or that eating disorders are all about wanting to look thin like models in the magazines. However, the reality is that eating disorders are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. — Jennifer Rollin MSW, LCSW-C
Awareness of eating disorders is not that prevalent compared with the other mental conditions. The common notions for individuals with eating disorders are usually they just don’t have the appetite to eat, they are just too stressed so they overeat, or they just ate something bad so they want to eliminate that.
There is so much more about eating disorders. These disorders are serious psychological conditions that require attention from professional therapists.
Hence, it is important to know the specific kind of eating disorders so appropriate measures can be observed.
This type of eating disorders is characterized by weight loss due to an excessive limitation of food intake. Individuals with this specific type of disorder have a distorted image of themselves that they can never be thin enough to be accepted by the people around them. They think that they are still ‘fat’ despite being skin and bones. Most of the people who have this kind of condition are women. This is largely influenced by the unrealistic standard of beauty portrayed by the media that women should have this ‘hourglass’ figure. They think that they need to be thin to be likable, to be attractive, and to be accepted by the society.
Many people who don’t “look like they have an eating disorder” based on their weight, gender, or skin color are not identified as having an eating disorder by medical professionals. — Alexis Conason Psy.D.
If anorexia nervosa is all about excessive restriction intake, bulimia nervosa is all about overeating to the point of losing control. Individuals who have this kind of condition are often times eating excessively followed by series of purging or vomiting to eliminate what they ate after feeling guilty or fearful of becoming fat. They usually force themselves to compensate from overeating by puking after eating. This is a serious threat to the individual since the body is not getting enough nutrients, minerals, and energy needed to function properly and efficiently.
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder is usually mistaken as bulimia nervosa. These two conditions are somewhat similar but the key feature of binge eating disorder is that the individual does not purge or vomit after eating. People with this specific condition do not have control over how they are eating and the amount they are eating. They experience regular episodes of overeating and undeniable loss of control to stop as if they are never satiated. Aside from that, the binge eating episodes are not intended for the purpose of gaining weight, rather it is an uncontrollable response to the disorder.
Be Aware. Do Something.
The three eating disorders discussed are usually not diagnosed properly from the people who have them. One of the reasons why is that individuals are usually hiding what they are experiencing and strongly want to keep their suffering to themselves. That is why an online therapist can be helpful to avoid the shame they may feel in a face-to-face interaction. If you know anyone who prospectively has an eating disorder, don’t hesitate to refer to an online professional therapist for assistance.
Sometimes attitudes and behaviors emerge in response to the overwhelming despair and hopelessness that accompanies watching a loved one starving herself/himself. — Judy Scheel Ph.D., L.C.S.W., CEDS