A Closer Look at What's Behind Eating Disorders
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Eating disorders are a classification of psychiatric illnesses within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). They are characterized by highly distressing attitudes, beliefs and behaviors related to a person's food intake, body shape and weight, according to Elizabeth Wassenaar, M.D., the regional medical director of the Eating Recovery Center in Denver.
Consequently, eating disorders have a negative impact on both physical and psychological health and are life-threatening if left untreated.
It is important to recognize that eating disorders are not a choice. They don't develop suddenly or disappear overnight. Food is not the root of the problem; it's the coping mechanism. As with drug use, food is a substance used to deal with underlying issues. This is why, in order to recover, nutritional rehabilitation is not enough.