An eating disorder is a serious and complex psychological disorder characterized by extreme thoughts, feelings, and behaviors regarding food and weight.
Eating disorders are typically categorized into three main types: Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating Disorder (BED). However, there are many people with eating disorders whose behaviors do not fit neatly into any of these categories (such as a person who purges, but does not binge). In these cases, a person would be diagnosed with Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS).
While the behaviors vary depending on the type of eating disorder, behaviors are understood to be symptoms of a much deeper set of psychological issues. To use an analogy of a physical illness, a person’s food intake and weight are like the fever (which is treated by a Registered Dietitian), while the underlying psychological issues are like the virus (which is treated by a therapist). Both aspects of treatment are important, but the virus must be treated – in addition to the fever – in order for the illness to be fully cured in the long-run.
Left untreated, an eating disorder can wreak havoc on various aspects of a person’s life. Sadly, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychological disorder, and affect people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, I would love to help you work through it. To learn more or to schedule an appointment with me, call 281-785-2273 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.