Eating Disorders Overview

What is an eating disorder?

We’ve all heard the term “eating disorder.” When most people hear this term, they picture someone who is severely underweight, malnourished (“anorexic”) and, most likely, a young woman. And while this may be partially true, there are many different types of eating disorders. And, eating disorders impact men, women and children of all ages. Further, people with eating disorders do not always present as dangerously underweight.
An eating disorder is a treatable mental illness that includes a number of different symptoms, including extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. Eating disorders can have serious emotional and physical consequences. In fact, those with anorexia, one of the most familiar eating disorders, have the highest mortality rate of any mental health disorder.

Treating Anorexia in Adults & Teens | Patients in Recovery


What is Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is characterized by an obsessive fear of weight gain and a refusal to maintain a healthy body weight.

What is ARFID?

ARFID (avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder) is a lesser known eating disorder that frequently begins in infancy or childhood, but adults can also suffer. It’s not uncommon for a child, or even an adult, with ARFID to be considered a “picky eater” and to go undiagnosed when they really have a more serious eating disorder.
What is Binge Eating Disorder?
Binge eating disorder is characterized by frequent overeating – at least once a week for three months – combined with a lack of control, intense feelings of distress and several other characteristic behaviors.
What is Bulimia?
Bulimia is characterized by patterns of bingeing and purging.
What is Compulsive Overeating?
Compulsive overeating can involve binge eating and weight gain, but it can also involve other behaviors.
What is Diabulimia?
The term diabulimia is used to describe the diagnosis of an eating disorder in an individual with type 1 diabetes. These patients intentionally misuse insulin for weight control.
What is OSFED?
OSFED (other specified feeding and eating disorder) is a diagnosis given to those who have maladaptive thoughts and behaviors related to food, eating and body image, but who do not meet all the diagnostic criteria for another specific diagnosis like anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.

Watch as our ERC expert answers the question "Why Do People Develop Eating Disorders?"


Know the signs and seek help

Once an eating disorder has taken hold in an individual's life, it is very powerful. It can become a self-sustaining process that usually requires professional help and support to recover.

Fortunately, full and lasting recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Please call us at 877-711-1690 to schedule a free confidential consultation with an Eating Recovery Center Masters-level clinician who can help you review your symptoms and identify potential eating disorder treatment options.

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