Eating Disorders

Almost everyone worries about his or her weight at least occasionally in our society that continues to reward thinness. People who suffer with eating disorders take such concerns to extremes. They develop abnormal eating habits that threaten their well being and even their lives.

There are three major types of eating disorders.

Anorexia Nervosa – Individuals with anorexia nervosa have a distorted body image that causes them to see themselves as overweight even when they are extremely underweight. They generally refuse to eat or eat very little, exercise compulsively, and refuse to eat in front of others. They lose large amounts of weight and may starve to death.

Bulimia Nervosa- Individuals with bulimia nervosa eat very large quantities of food, and then eliminate the food and calories from their bodies by using laxatives, enemas, diuretics, excessive exercise, or vomiting.

Binge Eating Disorder- Individuals with binge eating disorder frequently have out-of-control eating. Binge eaters do not purge their bodies of excess calories and can become excessively obese.

While 90 percent of eating disorder cases are adolescent and young women, boys, older women, and men can also develop eating disorders. Most cases of eating disorders can be treated successfully by well-trained mental health therapist. For many clients treatment will need to be long-term.

The sooner treatment starts, the better. The longer abnormal eating patterns continue; the more difficult they are to treat. The prospects for long-term recovery are good for most people who seek help from qualified professionals.

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