It’s estimated that around 30 million Americans have suffered from an eating disorder. However, the actual number could be far higher.
Estimating the prevalence of eating disorders is an impossible task. Eating disorders are secretive by nature, and many people never seek diagnosis or treatment.
Contrary to what the media portray, there are more types of eating disorders than Anorexia Nervosa. In fact, an eating disorder is a mental disorder that manifests in many ways. Someone doesn’t need to be underweight to have an eating disorder.
If you want to educate yourself on different eating disorders, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out more.
Anorexia Nervosa is the most well-known and most deadly eating disorder. This condition involves obsessive food restriction, exercising, and purging. People with anorexia are usually underweight but still terrified of weight gain and often obsessed with calorie counting.
Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by episodes of binge eating followed by purging. This can be in the form of throwing up, taking laxatives, or diet pills.
Due to the binge-eating aspect of this disease, people with bulimia often slip under the radar because they remain a normal weight despite their disorder.
Muscle dysmorphia is one of the only eating disorders that affects more men than women. It’s a specific type of body dysmorphia where the focus is on muscle growth.
People with muscle dysmorphia are likely to continue training to extreme levels but still believe they haven’t made any progress toward their ‘ideal physique’.
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder is very similar to Bulimia Nervosa, but without the purging activity. People with binge eating disorder are usually overweight and struggle to find treatment.
Because they’re overweight, treatment is usually in the form of weight-loss therapy – instead, the focus should be on healing their relationship with food and talking therapies.
People with binge eating disorder usually report a ‘trance like state’ when they binge. They feel out of control and sometimes can’t even remember what they ate during a binge.
Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED)
While the previous conditions are widely recognized in their own right, OSFED is a ‘catch all’ term for any other types of eating disorder.
It incorporates pregnancy eating disorders, orthorexia, eating disorders in bulimics, and any other mental health problems that cause severely disordered eating.
Types of Eating Disorders Explained
Although the media tend to focus only on Anorexia Nervosa, there are many different types of eating disorders to be aware of. Now you know about some of them, but there is still more you can learn.
Eating disorders are a sensitive and challenging topic, but it all starts with education. You’ve taken the first step by researching these conditions.
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