Have you found yourself feeling anxious about your food intake? Or have you noticed your loved ones not participating at mealtimes anymore? If you believe you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, you may be mistaken.
It’s important to note that there is a difference between an eating disorder and disordered eating habits. Let’s discuss both, so you can tell the difference between the two and get the help you desire for your specific needs.
What is Disordered Eating?
Disordered eating is a complex subject, as there is no specific definition for it. Those who experience disordered eating may experience it in many different ways. For example, some people who experience disordered eating may find they are eating large amounts of food in short periods of time every so often, while others with disordered eating may label foods as “good” and “bad.”
What sets disordered eating apart from an eating disorder is how often a person exhibits these disordered behaviors and whether this distress hinders their overall physical and mental health. If a person has an overall healthy relationship with food and tends to leave out a food group or go on a fad diet every once in a while, it’s likely they experience disordered eating and not an eating disorder.
Symptoms of Disordered Eating
There are many symptoms associated with disordered eating. Common signs of disordered eating include the following:
- Avoiding entire food groups
- Binge eating on occasion
- Extreme calorie restriction or dieting
- Eating to cope with emotions
- Eating the same things every day
- Feeling guilty about eating certain foods
- Labeling foods “good” or “bad”
- Misusing diuretics or laxatives
- Self-induced vomiting
- Skipping meals
- Using diet pills to lose weight
What is an Eating Disorder?
An eating disorder occurs when disordered eating habits become severe and begin to affect a person’s physical and mental health. It’s often difficult to diagnose an eating disorder, as they present differently from person to person. For example, one person with an eating disorder like anorexia nervosa may exhibit restrictive eating behaviors and over-exercising, while someone with a binge eating disorder may experience episodes of eating extreme amounts of food in short periods of time.
There are four different common eating disorders we see throughout the United States. These disorders include:
- Anorexia nervosa
- Bulimia nervosa
- Binge eating disorder (BED)
- Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID)
Symptoms of an Eating Disorder
There are many signs and symptoms associated with eating disorders, including the following:
- Avoiding social situations in which food may be involved
- Body dysmorphia or distorted body image
- Eating large quantities of food in short periods of time
- Extreme or excessive exercising
- Feeling guilty or ashamed after eating
- General preoccupation with food and weight
- Intense fear of gaining weight
- Poor self-esteem
- Purging (by way of exercising or vomiting) after eating
- Severe restriction of food and caloric intake
It’s important to note that not everyone will exhibit these symptoms and that some may exhibit symptoms from multiple different eating disorders. It’s important to talk to your doctor if you feel you may have an eating disorder to talk more about whether receiving help for your eating disorder is right for you.
Eating Disorder Help Near Me
If you believe you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, we encourage you to reach out to the therapeutic specialists at Atlanta Specialized Care. Our team of providers is proud to offer comprehensive treatment for those suffering from eating disorders. We are also proud to offer high-quality counseling services for those who may also be suffering from mood disorders, anxiety, or depression.
To learn more about how the therapists at Atlanta Specialized Care can help you with your eating disorder, we encourage you to give us a call today at (770) 815-6853. One of our dedicated team members will be happy to speak with you. To schedule an appointment with us, please use our convenient online appointment request form.