Eating as a habit is generally referred to as an enjoyable activity that is of utmost importance for our survival. For some of us, it can also remedy deep emotional wounds. But for 2% of the Adult US population, the pleasure of having a good appetizing meal is overshadowed by the burden of eating disorders.
Now, when we generally think of eating disorders, we refer to visibly sick individuals starving themselves over the obsessive pursuit of losing weight. However, that is just one-way eating disorders manifest. Apart from the above-described condition, which is known as anorexia nervosa, there are several different types of eating disorders. Let us dive deeper into these different types of eating disorders and understand what sets them apart from each other.
But first, let us understand what eating disorders are.
Eating disorders are a form of psychological disorders characterized by disturbed, unhealthy, and orthodox eating patterns. Most people with eating disorders showcase an unhealthy obsession with being lean and thin, and they push themselves to harmful and potentially hazardous restrictions. On the other hand, a different segment of people suffers from eating disorders because they use food as a way to cope with emotional challenges. This leads to overeating and severe complications like obesity, etc.
Types Of Eating Disorders
Now that you know what eating disorders are, let us take a look at the different types of eating disorders prevalent among people.
1. Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia nervosa is the most common and widely known eating disorder. The disorder is characterized by people having less than 15% body weight than the healthy level. The most common symptoms of anorexia nervosa include a persistent fear of gaining weight and eating.
People with anorexia nervosa do not eat the optimum quantity of required food, exercise excessively, and have an extremely deficient calorie intake.
2. Bulimia Nervosa
All of us have over-eaten at some point or other. However, the stage when a person indulges in binge eating regularly and loses control of what they are eating altogether is termed bulimia nervosa. These episodes of binge eating are followed by intense shame and guilt. This guilt makes the person vomit the food forcefully, over-exercise, or use laxatives for weight loss.
3. Binge-Eating Disorders
While binge eating is considered an occasional bad habit, binge-eating disorder is a serious mental health condition. The person consumes unhealthy high amounts of food and feels an overall lack of control over these habits. People with binge-eating disorders intake so many calories that it becomes difficult for their bodies to function normally. These disorders can eventually lead to high cholesterol, obesity, and even heart conditions.
4. Rumination Disorder
Rumination disorder mainly affects young children. The disorder is characterized by regurgitation or bringing back recently swallowed food to re-chew or spit it out. Kids with this condition usually regurgitate immediately after swallowing food or within 30 minutes of food intake.
Children with rumination disorder generally suffer from bad breath, tooth decay, abdominal pain, and much more.
Read more: Are PTSD And Eating Disorders Related?
While mental health conversations are gradually occupying the central stage around the world, there is a lack of awareness about the different types of eating disorders that people suffer from. Eating disorders are real mental disorders that affect millions every year. That is why there needs to be a greater understanding regarding them. We hope the above list will help identify and differentiate between the different types of eating disorders.
Despite being severe in nature, it is possible to recover from eating disorders effectively with the help of proper professional services. With the advent of online therapy platforms, you can now find professional help right in the comfort of your home. To learn about the most affordable and accessible online therapy platforms, click here.
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