Eating disorders are classified as mental illnesses which affect one’s behaviors related to food and weight. Typically, individuals experiencing symptoms of an eating disorder display obsessive tendencies concerning what they eat and how they appear physically. Ultimately, these preoccupations can become all-consuming and may lead to extreme consequences for both physical and mental health.
While often viewed as largely affecting adolescents, adults can also be affected by these disorders. Recognizing the signs of an eating disorder is a vital first step in receiving the proper care and treatment. Recovery usually involves a combination of therapies and medications to allow the individual to return to a more optimal frame of mind regarding their appearance and food habits.
Identifying Specific Eating Disorders
There are many common eating disorders found in adults which are treatable once the corresponding symptoms are recognized. If you or someone you love is struggling with one of these disorders, do not hesitate to get in touch with a healthcare provider or treatment center.
Anorexia presents as an obsession with food intake that causes the person to either avoid eating as much as possible or purge eaten food through acts such as vomiting or excessive exercise. Body image is usually warped, not allowing people to see themselves as thin even when they are extremely underweight.
Those with bulimia experience periods of binge eating, usually uncontrollably, that they then try to make up for by purging. Purging could involve vomiting, taking laxatives or exercising compulsively. There is a fear of gaining weight regardless of the actual size of the individual.
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder causes those with the condition to consume food in excessive amounts in short bursts of time, typically feeling out of control while doing so. They often feel ashamed of the behavior but do not engage in purging. Instead, these individuals often become overweight and experience medical problems related to excessive weight gain.
Avoidant or Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
Generally thought to occur mainly in infants and young children, ARFID is actually known to affect adults, as well. It causes people to consume fewer nutrients than is appropriate for their bodies to be healthy due to avoiding specific foods. They base their restrictions on texture, color, tastes or other specific criteria. It is not merely picky eating.
Rumination disorder presents as the regurgitation of recently eaten food, afterward either swallowed again or spit out. It can lead to issues with nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight. Those with the illness may avoid eating in public out of embarrassment.
Getting Help to Overcome an Eating Disorder
If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Along with the support from friends and family, professional help is another option to consider.
The staff at High Focus Centers can help you fight and recover from the effects of an eating disorder. Submit a confidential contact form today to learn more about our treatment options.