Types of Eating Disorders
Anorexia nervosa is characterized by a distorted body image accompanied by an unwarranted fear of being or becoming overweight. Symptoms include repeatedly weighing yourself, trying to maintain a below-normal weight through starvation or too much exercise and eating only small quantities of only certain types of food. Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric disorders.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental disorder in which you can’t stop thinking about perceived flaws in your appearance—flaws that, to others, are either minor or not noticeable. You may feel so ashamed and anxious that you may avoid many social situations. You may intensely obsess over your appearance and body image, repeatedly checking the mirror, grooming or seeking reassurance, sometimes for many hours each day. Your perceived flaw and the repetitive behaviors cause you significant distress and impact your ability to function in your daily life.
Binge-eating disorder is a serious eating disorder in which you frequently consume unusually large amounts of food and feel unable to stop eating. Almost everyone overeats on occasion, such as having seconds or thirds of a holiday meal, but for some people, excessive overeating with a perceived loss of control becomes a regular occurrence that crosses the line into binge-eating disorder. When you have binge-eating disorder, you may be embarrassed about overeating and vow to stop—but you feel such a compulsion that you can’t resist the urges and continue binge eating. This is the most common eating disorder in the United States.
Bulimia nervosa is a potentially life-threatening eating disorder. People with this condition frequently consume large quantities of food, followed by taking steps to avoid weight gain. Most commonly this means vomiting, but it can also mean excessive exercising or fasting. People experiencing bulimia nervosa are often able to maintain a fairly normal weight.
Compulsive Overeating Disorder
People suffering with compulsive overeating have what is characterized as an addiction to food, regularly using food and eating as a way to hide from their emotions, to fill a void they feel inside or to cope with daily stresses and problems in their lives.
Many eating disorders occur in tandem with other mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety. This combination of disorders is known as co-occurring disorders, or a dual diagnosis. It’s important to treat each disorder in context of the other in order to heal. We offer treatment for many co-occurring disorders, including:
- Substance Abuse
- Bipolar Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Body Dysmorphia
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Muscle Dysmorphia Disorder
Sometimes known as bigorexia, people suffering from muscle dysmorphia fear that they are too small or their muscles are too underdeveloped, and they subsequently develop an obsession with adding muscle mass. Muscle dysmorphia is a variant of body dysmorphic disorder.
See Binge-Eating Disorder or Compulsive Overeating Disorder
Orthorexia nervosa indicates an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy food and a preoccupation with avoiding foods perceived as unhealthy at any cost. People experiencing orthorexia also frequently show symptoms of anxiety disorder.
Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder
OSFED includes any feeding or eating disorder that impacts a client’s life but doesn’t meet full diagnostic criteria for any one specific disorder. The categories covered by OSFED include atypical presentations of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, purging disorder or night eating syndrome.