Eating Disorders


Anorexia Nervosa


Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by a significant weight loss resulting from excessive dieting. Anorexia mostly targets female teens, but there is an increasing number of men motivated by the strong desire to be thin. People suffering from this have a huge fear of gaining weight, and still consider themselves to be fat no matter what their weight is. They are extremely sensitive about being fat and of losing control over the amount of food he/she eats. Anorexics strive for perfection. They set high goals for themselves and sometimes feel that the only control in their lives is in the area of food and weight. Periods of starvation, obsessive counting of calories, compulsive exercising and/or purging after meals are the most common symptoms of being anorexic. They feel powerful and have a sense of perfection when they make themselves lose weight. They usually have a very low self esteem and sometimes feel that they do not deserve to eat anything. They have a persistent concern with their body image, which can all be one of the physical indications that someone suffers from anorexia. Anorexics usually deny that they have a problem or that anything is wrong and therefore think that therapy will only force them to eat. As soon as they finally admit that they have a problem and do need to seek help, they can be treated through a combination of psychological, nutritional and medical care.


Bulimia Nervosa


Bulimia is characterized by a cycle of binge eating followed by purging to try and rid the body of unwanted calories. Bulimia nervosa can be described in many ways. For example bulimics may eat in a descrete period of time (2 hours) an amount of food that is quite larger then most people would eat throughout the day. They also have a lack of control of what they eat. The binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors, both occur, at least twice a week for 3 months (on average). Bulimics often engage in periods of overeating followed by attempts to avoid weight gain. A binge is very different for all individuals. For one person a binge may range from 1000 to 10 000 calories, and for another a cookie or something that small may be considered a binge. Purging methods include vomiting and laxative abuse. Other forms of purging can involve excessive exercise, fasting, use of diuretics, diet pills and enemas. The bulimic may engage in self-starvation between binge-purge sessions which leads the individual into the same danger as anorexia. Bulimics are people who do not feel secure about themselves. They strive for the approval of others, and tend to do whatever they can to impress others while hiding their own feelings. Food becomes their only source of comfort and serves as a function for blocking or letting out their feelings. Bulimics also have very low self esteem, but are more willing to seek for help. There is two types of bulimia. The purging type involves someone who regularly makes up for the binge eating with self induced vomiting, laxative abuse, diuretics, or enemas. The non-purging type is used to describe individuals who makes up the binge eating through dietary fasting or excessive exercising.


Both anorexia and bulimia


Eating disorders are emotional situations that not everyone will understand. They may seem to be nothing but a dangerous dietary concern but for most women and men suffering with an eating disorder there are deeper emotional conflicts to be resolved. For anorexics it is harder for them to admit they have a problem, and for some of them it may be too late to seek help. Bulimics are more open and are willing to admit that they have a problem. Both disorders can be dealt with by physcilogical, medical or nutritional care.


Compulsive Over-eating


Compulsive overeating is characterized by uncontrollable eating and extreme weight gain. Compulsive overeaters use food as a way to cope with stress, emotions, and daily problems. The food can block out feelings and emotions. They usually feel out of control and are aware their eating patterns aren’t normal. Compulsive over eating usually begins in early childhood when eating patterns are developed. There is a higher percentage of males then females who are compulsive over eaters. The more weight that is gained, the harder the try