What are Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders are characterized by rigid patterns of eating behavior that are unhealthy and cause significant health, emotional, and/or functional impairment. Eating disorders can often cause significant health issues and in severe cases can be life-threatening.
Some of the most notable eating disorders include bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and anorexia nervosa although any persistent pattern of unhealthy eating behavior can pose serious health consequences and may warrant treatment. People who are suffering with an eating disorder are most often also experiencing difficulties with other mental health issues, in particular anxiety and depression.
Common Symptoms of Eating Disorders
anxiety, irritability, anger, depressed mood, shame, fear, mood swings
excessive fear of gaining weight, preoccupation with diet and/or calorie intake, distorted body image, uncontrollable worry, difficulties with concentration and focus
weight fluctuation (up or down), gastrointestinal issues, menstrual irregularities, dizziness, fainting, persistently feeling cold, difficulties with sleep, cuts and calluses across the top of finger joints (i.e., from inducing vomiting), dental problems (e.g., enamel erosion, cavities), poor wound healing dry skin and hair, brittle fingernails and toenails, swelling around area of salivary glands, lanugo (i.e., fine hair on body), muscle weakness,
restricting food intake, skipping meals, binging (eating excessive amounts in a short period of time), purging (forced vomiting, use of laxatives, excessive exercise), frequent dieting, excessive physical exercise, avoiding eating in the presence of others