ED INFORMATION & RESOURCES
Eating disorders: myths & facts
Myth:Eating Disorders are about food and being thin
Fact: Eating Disorders have very little to do with food and the body
Myth:People are either anorexic, bulimic, or binge eaters
Fact: Eating Disorder categories cross over more often than not
Myth:Eating Disorders only affect white, adolescent, females
Fact: People of all ages, races, classes, genders and sexual orientation can be affected by Eating Disorders
Myth:Eating Disorders are not very serious
Fact: Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental health issue
Myth:Eating Disorders are resolved when people show up to food and regulate their weight
Fact:Though people may be physically restored and show up for food, this does not mean they are not still deeply affected by the Eating Disorder
Common Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are mental health issues that manifest themselves in a variety of unhealthy eating and weight control habits that become obsessive, compulsive, and/or impulsive in nature. Though these manifestations show up in patterns or practices with food and the body, eating disorders are not exclusively about food and the body. In fact, eating disorders are about issues of control, trauma, self-worth, depression, anxiety, or some other psychological symptom.
Eating disorders are generally defined as anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorder. It is important to note that though some people experience these disorders exclusively, many people tend to experience a combination of symptoms from the various disorders.
Characterized by a person’s obsession with controlling their eating and refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height.
Significant weight loss without any logical reason, such as illness
Significant reduction in eating accompanied by repeated denials of hunger
Dieting when not over healthy weight range
Signs of starvation (can include thinning or actual loss of hair, appearance of fine, white hair on the body, frequent bloated feelings, yellowing palms or soles of feet and/or a dry, pasty skin
Abnormal menstrual periods in women
Characterized by cycles of bingeing and purging. People with bulimia may well have a weight that is regarded as “normal”.
Repeated episodes of bingeing and purging
Feeling out of control while eating
Vomiting, using laxatives, diet pills, or diuretics, exercising excessively, and skipping meals
Using body weight and shape as the main measure of one’s self worth
Binge Eating Disorder
Characterized as recurrent episodes of binge eating without being associated with the regular use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (e.g., purging, fasting, excessive exercise).
Eating large amounts of food frequently and in one sitting
Feeling out of control and unable to stop eating
Eating quickly and in secret
Feeling uncomfortably full after eating
Feeling guilty and ashamed of binges
Over-exercise disorders, like eating disorders, are used to provide control, soothe anxieties, offer structure, maintain self-esteem, and purge the body.
Because exercise is honored in our society as being representative of those who are healthy and disciplined, often over-exercise disorders goes unnoticed.
Maintains a high level of activity and is uncomfortable with states of rest or relaxation.
Justifies that a high level of activity is necessary and reasonable for optimum health.
Depends on the activity for self-definition and mood stabilization.
Has an intense, driven and competitive quality to the activity.
Is self-perpetuating and resistant to changing the activity, compelling continuation despite injury, isolation and/or other life commitments.
Helpful ED Resources