Eating as a habit is generally referred to as a pleasurable activity that is of utmost importance to our survival. For some of us, it can also heal deep emotional wounds. but l 2% of the adult US populationThe joy of eating a good, tasty meal is overshadowed by the burden of eating disorders.
Now, when we generally think of eating disorders, we refer to clearly sick individuals who are starving due to the relentless pursuit of weight loss. However, this is just one trend of eating disorders emerging. Aside from the condition described above, which is known as anorexia nervosa, there are several different types of eating disorders. Let’s dive into these different types of eating disorders and understand what sets them apart.
But first, let’s understand what eating disorders are.
Eating disorders are a form of mental disorder characterized by disordered, unhealthy, and binge eating patterns. Most people with eating disorders display an unhealthy obsession with thinness and thinness, and push themselves into harmful and dangerous restrictions. On the other hand, a different segment of people suffer from eating disorders because they use food as a way to deal with emotional challenges. This leads to overeating and serious complications like obesity and so on.
Types of eating disorders
Now that you know what eating disorders are, let’s take a look at the different types of eating disorders that are prevalent among people.
1. Anorexia nervosa
Anorexia nervosa is the most common and best-known eating disorder. The disorder is characterized by people whose weight is less than 15% below the healthy level. The most common symptoms of anorexia nervosa include a constant fear of gaining weight and eating.
People with anorexia do not eat the optimal amount of food required, exercise excessively, and experience severe caloric deficits.
2. Bulimia nervosa
We all overeat at one time or another. However, the stage when a person regularly binges on overeating and completely loses control of what they eat is called bulimia nervosa. These binge eating episodes are followed by shame and guilt. This guilt causes the person to forcefully vomit food, exercise excessively, or use laxatives to lose weight.
3. Binge eating disorders
While binge eating is sometimes a bad habit, binge eating disorder is a serious mental health condition. The person consumes unhealthy large amounts of food and feels a general lack of control over these habits. People with binge eating disorders eat so many calories that it is difficult for their bodies to function normally. These disorders can eventually lead to high cholesterol, obesity, and even heart disease.
4. Rumination disorder
Rumination disorder mainly affects young children. The disorder is characterized by regurgitation or returning recently swallowed food to be re-chewed or spit out. Children with this condition usually vomit immediately after swallowing food or within 30 minutes of eating.
Children with rumination disorder generally suffer from bad breath, tooth decay, abdominal pain, and much more.
Read more: Are PTSD and eating disorders linked?
While mental health conversations are gradually taking center stage around the world, there is a lack of awareness about the different types of eating disorders that people suffer from. Eating disorders are real mental disorders that affect millions every year. That is why there must be a greater understanding regarding them. We hope the above list helps identify and differentiate the different types of eating disorders.
Although severe in nature, it is possible to recover from an eating disorder effectively with the help of appropriate professional services. With the advent of online therapy platforms, you can now find professional help in the comfort of your own home. To learn about the most affordable and accessible online therapy platform, click here.
To continue learning about mental health, subscribe to Your mental health matters.