An eating disorder is a mental health issue which can include symptoms like extreme concerns of weight, shape, eating or body image issues. These concerns can lead to unhealthy patterns of behaviours such as calorie counting, restricting food, increased exercise, fasting or misuse of laxative. Eating disorders can affect men or women of all ages of diverse backgrounds.
Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders ( DSM-5) recognises five more common types of eating disorders
Anorexia Nervosa is characterised by restrictive eating that leads to a person being unable to maintain what is considered to be a normal and healthy weight.People experiencing Anorexia Nervosa possess an intense fear of gaining weight or becoming overweight, no matter their current weight and appearance.
Bulimia Nervosa is characterised by repeated episodes of binge eating,followed by compensatory behaviours,such a purging or excessive exercise.People experiencing Bulimia Nervosa often place an excessive emphasis ontheir body shape or weight.
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder is characterised by regular episodes of binge eating. Unlike Bulimia Nervosa, someone suffering from Binge Eating Disorder will not engage in compensatory behaviours (such as vomiting, laxatives, fasting etc.). Individuals with Binge Eating Disorder will often eat alone or in secret because of feelings of shame and guilt about their eating behaviours. Many people with binge eating disorder are overweight or obese.
Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED)
OSFED may present with many symptoms of other eating disorders, but where the person doesn’t meet the full criteria for diagnosis of those eating disorders. OSFED is no less serious and with treatment, recovery is possible.
Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), is more commonly known as “extreme picky eating”. A person who is experiencing ARFID often shows highly selective eating habits, disturbed feeding patterns or both.
At Mind Psychology we offer psychological interventions for people struggling with eating disorders or for friends and family who are supporting a loved one who might be struggling with an eating disorder. We use a range of strategies such as helpful thinking, relaxation strategies, building body acceptance and distress tolerance to build positive body image.
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