Eating Disorders: Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge-Eating Disorder

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Eating disorders have some of the same symptoms of anxiety, depression and addiction, but are actually in a separate category.  Anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorder are often misunderstood by the general public and misdiagnosed by medical professionals.

People who suffer from anorexia usually see themselves as overweight (body image distortion), even when they are clearly underweight. They become obsessed with food and weight control, and typically weigh themselves repeatedly.

People with bulimia binge on large amounts of food which is then followed by forced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or excessive exercise (purging).

Both anorexia and bulimia seem to be driven by the person’s attempt to be in complete control of their body, even though they are clearly out of control. There is a high prevalence of anorexia and bulimia and people who’ve been sexually abused or come from highly dysfunctional family systems.

Binge-eating disorder is like a food addiction. Unlike bulimia, where there are episodes of purging, people with binge-eating disorder are usually overweight or obese.

Treatment of  eating disorders requires a specialized multi-faceted therapeutic team that often includes a physician, dietician, physical therapist, family therapist and individual therapist. I have worked with eating disorders at both inpatient and outpatient levels, and facilitated eating disorder recovery groups for a number of years.

If you have concerns or questions about eating disorders, I’d like to hear from you.

Additionally, click here for a free download of Eating Disorders: About More Than Food.

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