What is anorexia?
Anorexia is a serious mental illness where an individual restricts their energy intake; as a result leading to a significantly low body weight. The sufferer will limit the amount of food they eat but may also exercise excessively and/or have episodes of bingeing followed by purging. The sufferer is likely to have in incorrect perception of themselves and their body believing they’re larger than they really are. Individuals experience a deep rooted fear of gaining weight or of becoming fat due to the disturbance in the way they seem themselves. If questioned or told to gain weight the sufferer will often deny seriousness of their low body weight and/or challenge the suggestion that they should gain weight to be within a healthy range. (Eatingdisorders.org.au, 2016)
Signs of anorexia
Effects of anorexia:
What is bulimia?
Bulimia is a serious mental illness that is recognised by an individual having recurrent episodes of binge eating where they may feel a lack of control over what they’re eating and then following the event the recurrent use of inappropriate compensatory behaviours in order to prevent weight gain. The behaviours may be purging (self-induced vomiting), excessive exercise, fasting laxatives, diuretics or other medications. Usually the self-evaluation of the sufferer is unduly influenced by their body shape and weight and how they perceive themselves. (Eatingdisorders.org.au, 2016)
Signs of bulimia:
Effects of bulimia:
What is binge eating disorder?
Binge Eating Disorder is a mental illness where an individual will have recurrent periods of binge eating, eating a larger than normal amount of food within a short period of time, and occurring without the use of inappropriate compensatory behaviours. During a binge eating episode the individual may eat faster than normal, eat alone, eat until they feeling uncomfortably full are or not feeling physically hungry. The sufferer may then feel guilty, disgusted with themselves and/or depressed afterwards and distress regarding the binge eating is present. (Eatingdisorders.org.au, 2016)
Signs of binge eating disorder:
Effects of binge eating disorder:
What is OSFED?
OSFED is a mental illness and eating disorders are diagnosed as OSFED when they don’t fit the exact diagnostic criteria for other eating disorders. This does not make the eating disorder any less serious; the symptoms are just presenting in a different way.
Examples of OSFED:
Signs of OSFED:
Effects of OSFED:
Depending on the symptoms of the eating disorder; whether it is more similar to anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder will depend on the effects that their eating disorder will have on the body.
What is compulsive eating?
Compulsive eating happens when an individual has a sense that they have lost control over their eating whether they are constantly picking at food or binge eating. This constant eating is usually accompanied by feelings of guilt or remorse and the individual might be trying to deal with it by restricting the food their eating, dieting, taking slimming pills or purging. National Centre for Eating Disorders.
Signs of compulsive eating:
Effects of compulsive eating:
What is orthorexia?
Orthorexia is a condition where an individual develops an obsession with only eating ‘healthy’ and/or ‘pure’ foods. This leads them to eliminating many types of foods and even food groups from their diet limiting their dietary intake. (Beat, 2019)
Signs of orthorexia:
Effects of orthorexia:
What is body dysmorphic disorder?
Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental illness where an individual spends an excessive amount of time worrying about their perceived flaws in their physical appearance. Due to this the individual may develop compulsive behaviours and routines such as checking their body in mirrors very frequently or picking their skin to try and manage the feelings associated with how they look. (Mind.org.uk, 2019)
Signs of body dysmorphic disorder?
What is bigorexia?
Bigorexia is a mental illness and a subtype of body dysmorphic disorder, however, is also classified as an eating disorder. Bigorexia is characterised by people having the thought that no matter how hard they try their body is never muscular enough. A person suffering with bigorexia is likely to also have a very strict diet regime and the use of drugs such as anabolic steroids to increase muscle mass, despite the side effects, is common.
Signs of bigorexia:
Effects of bigorexia:
What is Pica?
Pica is an illness where a person displays persistent eating of non-nutritional substances and the eating of non-nutritional substances is inappropriate to the developmental level that would be expected in the individual. The eating behaviour is not part of a culturally supported or socially normal practice. The illness may occur in the presence of another mental illness (ie. autism) or a medical condition (ie. pregnancy). (Eatingdisorders.org.au, 2016)
Examples of non-nutritional substance which might be eaten are hair, ice, vomit, soil, raw potatoes, coal, rocks, plastic, and paper.
Signs of Pica:
Effects of Pica:
What is rumination disorder?
Rumination disorder is where a person repeatedly regurgitates food; the regurgitated food may be re-chewed, re-swallowed or spit out. This behaviour is not also related to any medical condition that would induce such behaviour (ie. gastrointestinal condition). (Eatingdisorders.org.au, 2016)
Signs of rumination disorder:
Effects of rumination disorder:
What is AFRID?
Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (AFRID) is characterised by an individual restricting their food by eliminating certain food groups and/or reducing the amount that they eat. However, is different to anorexia and bulimia because the person may not experience the same extreme level of body image disturbance that somebody with anorexia or bulimia might. AFRID also doesn’t seem to affect the persons beliefs and perceptions about their body image and weight, and for example, wouldn’t usually experience the same fear of gaining weight as a person with anorexia would. AFRID sufferers are also less likely to present with eating disorder behaviours such as purging and excessive exercise. (Eatingdisorders.org.au, 2016)
Signs of AFRID:
Effects of AFRID:
What is UFED?
The diagnosis, according to the DSM-5 guidelines, applies to when an individual’s behaviours do not meet the criteria for any of the feeding/eating disorder criterion. This diagnosis is often used when insufficient information is present for example in emergency room scenarios. or clinicians choose not to specify why certain criteria aren’t met, (Eatingdisorders.org.au, 2016)
Beat. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/ [Accessed 10 Feb. 2019].
Eatingdisorders.org.au. (2016). DSM-5 | Eating Disorders Victoria. [online] Available at: https://www.eatingdisorders.org.au/eating-disorders/what-is-an-eating-disorder/classifying-eating-disorders/dsm-5 [Accessed 10 Feb. 2019].
Mind.org.uk. (2019). Home | Mind, the mental health charity – help for mental health problems. [online] Available at: https://www.mind.org.uk/ [Accessed 10 Feb. 2019].