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Eating Disorders


Eating Disorders

There are three major types of eating disorders.

People with anorexia nervosa have a distorted body image that causes them to see themselves as overweight even when they're dangerously thin. Often refusing to eat, exercising compulsively, and developing unusual habits such as refusing to eat in front of others, they lose large amounts of weight and may even starve to death.

Individuals with bulimia nervosa eat excessive quantities of food, then purge their bodies of the food and calories they fear by using laxatives, enemas, or diuretics, vomiting and/or exercising. Often acting in secrecy, they feel disgusted and ashamed as they binge, yet relieved of tension and negative emotions once their stomachs are empty again.

Like people with bulimia, those with binge eating disorder experience frequent episodes of out-of-control eating. The difference is that binge eaters don't purge their bodies of excess calories.

It is important to prevent problematic behaviors from evolving into full-fledged eating disorders. Anorexia and bulimia, for example, usually are preceded by very strict dieting and weight loss. Binge eating disorder can begin with occasional bingeing. Whenever eating behaviors start having a destructive impact on someone's functioning or self-image, it is time to see a trained mental health professional.

Eating disorders can severely impair people's functioning and health. But the prospects for long-term recovery are good for most people who seek help from appropriate professionals.

NEDA: National Eating Disorders Association - The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is the largest U.S. not-for-profit organization working to prevent eating disorders and provide treatment referrals to those suffering from anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder and those concerned with body image and weight issues. (http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/)

Overeaters Anonymous, Eating Disorders Anonymous - 12 - Step support (http://www.eatingdisordersanonymous.org/)

Eating Disorders: Frequently Asked Questions - from Screening for Mental Health, Inc. (http://www.mentalhealthscreening.org/infofaq/eating.aspx)

Eating Disorders: Psychotherapy’s Role in Effective Treatment - American Psychological Association fact sheet from their “How Therapy Helps” series. (http://www.apahelpcenter.org/articles/article.php?id=9)

Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center - dedicated to the prevention and treatment of eating disorders. Edreferral.com provides information and treatment resources for all forms of eating disorders. Provides assistance, in the form of information and resources, to those suffering with eating disorders to get them started on the road to recovery and healthy living. Links page with tons of sites. (http://www.edreferral.com/#)

Eating Disorders Mirror Mirror - Excellent material on all types of eating disorders.( http://www.mirror-mirror.org/eatdis.htm)