Mental Disorders

'My eating disorder is something I've been struggling with for a while.. I decided to face my problem head-on. My whole message is to love who you are and accept all your beautiful imperfections. When I felt I was slipping into unloving territory with myself, I knew I had to listen to my own advice and correct it... I felt I needed to get help, not only for myself but also for my fans'
- Kesha, singer

Introduction

Individuals with eating disorders have extreme concerns about their body shape and weight, because of which they alter their eating patterns (less or more) resulting in disturbed mind-body functioning, ultimately impacting a person’s physical and psychological health. There is a common belief that eating disorders are a lifestyle choice; in reality they are actually serious and often fatal illnesses, which if left untreated, can cause severe disturbances to a person’s eating behaviors. As mentioned, obsessions with food, body weight, and shape may also signal an eating disorder. [1]

Signs and Symptoms

There are certain behaviors that characterize feeding and eating disorders, such as:

  • Eating related disturbances
  • Impaired physical health
  • Impaired functioning

Types of Eating Disorders

1) Anorexia Nervosa

A person suffering from Anorexia consumes little or no food, becomes overwhelmed with the thought of being ‘fat’, and tries to keep their weight as low as possible; for example, by starving themselves or exercising excessively.

2) Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia occurs when an individual goes through periods of binge eating and then deliberately makes themselves sick or uses laxatives (medication to help empty the bowels) to try to control their weight.

3) Binge-Eating Disorder

It is when an individual feels compelled to over eat huge amounts of food in a short span of time which is followed by feelings of guilt and embarrassment. However, this disorder is not followed by purging behaviors.

4) Pica

The habit of eating dirt or any other item not considered as edible.

5) Rumination Disorder

This involves behaviors of regurgitating food which continues for a period of 1 month.

6) Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

The habit of eating a minimal amount of food during the day which results in malnourishment. [2] [3]


References:

[1] Morrison, J. (2014).  DSM-5 made easy: The Clinician’s guide to Diagnosis. New York: Guilford Press.   

[2] Anxiety. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/topics/anxiety/   

[3]American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association.


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