What is an eating disorder?
Anorexia Nervosa – Food restriction leading to a body weight that is substantially lower than normal or expected, very strong fear of weight gain, inability to perceive one’s weight or shape accurately.
Those with anorexia may engage in the restricting type, or the binge-purge type. Often, family and friends will miss the signs of anorexia because “I’ve seen her eat!” It is rare for those with anorexia to never eat. Many of those affected eat daily, just in very restricted amounts.
Bulimia Nervosa – Regular binge eating (at least once per week) associated with perceived loss of control, regular compensatory behaviors (purging through any number of methods – vomiting, restriction, exercise, etc.), inability to perceive one’s weight or shape accurately, and the criteria for anorexia are not met.
Those with bulimia can be any shape or size, ranging from underweight to overweight.
Binge Eating Disorder – Regular binge eating (at least once per week) associated with perceived loss of control, accompanied by eating quickly, eating to uncomfortable fullness, eating when not hungry, eating alone due to shame, and/or feeling upset after overeating. The binge eating behaviors cause concern, and the criteria for anorexia nor bulimia are met.
OSFED (Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders)
- Atypical Anorexia – meets all criteria for anorexia, but weight is not substantially lower than normal/expected
- Subthreshold Bulimia Nervosa – meets all criteria for bulimia, but behaviors have taken place for fewer than three months, or occur less than once per week
- Subthreshold Binge Eating Disorder – meets all criteria for BED, but behaviors have taken place for fewer than three months, or occur less than once per week
- Purging Disorder – Regular purging (at least once a week for three months) without binge eating
- Night Eating Syndrome – Repeated episodes of night eating (waking up to eat, or eating large quantities after dinner). Night eating is remembered the next day, causes clinical impairment, and cannot be explained by social norms or another psychiatric disorder.
Other Unspecified Eating Related Disorders
- Compulsive Exercise – A preoccupation with exercising that can interfere with normal life, feels out of control, and/or is affecting one’s health.
- Orthorexia – A preoccupation with “healthy” eating that can interfere with normal life, feels out of control, and/or is affecting one’s health.