An eating disorder occurs when a person eats too much, or refuses to eat at all. This pertains more to a psychological need rather than a physical one. When a normal person eats, his body tells him when to stop. But to a person who has an eating disorder, these bodily signals are missing. Eating disorders are classified mainly into three categories: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. These disorders can also be difficult to detect, due to the glamorization of mainstream media, the viewpoint of a person suffering from a disorder can see his actions as “normal.”
The first category, “anorexia nervosa” is categorized by extreme weight loss due to minimal intake of food. Symptoms include the feeling of being overweight even though going through extreme weight loss, the disappearance of menstrual periods in women, and an extreme preoccupation with body weight and shape.
The second category, “bulimia nervosa” is characterized by frequent changes in weight; due to periods of uncontrollable binge eating that is followed by throwing up. The symptoms for this category are eating beyond the point of fullness and forced vomiting after eating.
The last category which is “binge-eating disorder” is also known as compulsive eating. It is often triggered by extreme dieting and involves periods of overeating. It is usually done in secret by the person suffering the disorder and it is mostly done to derive some comfort from it. The symptoms include periods of uncontrolled and continuous eating and then followed by repetitive diets.
There are two major differences between normal eating and the so-called disturbed eating; when you eat normally, you have contact with your body’s physical sensations of hunger and satisfaction. You decide on how much you eat and when to stop. Basically, the person is in control of his stomach. When it comes to disturbed eating, the individual could no longer control how much to eat and when to stop eating.
A person suffering these types of eating disorders should get help from a psychiatrist or dietician in order to get back on the right track of having a healthy eating lifestyle.