Recognizing orthorexia: the unofficial eating disorder that takes clean and healthy eating too far
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It took a long time to recognize the line between healthy and compulsive behavior. And this is the same challenge for many who are — consciously or unconsciously — experiencing orthorexia, an eating disorder that takes the idea of clean eating way too far. Like anorexia athletica, it is often experienced by those whose good intentions become obsessions.
Behaviors between the two conditions can blur into each other. It’s possible for one with anorexia athletica to exhibit signs of orthorexia, like I did, or with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or other combinations.
And while orthorexia is an “unofficial” eating disorder — not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) — it is recognized by clinicians and therapists and can be treated.