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Still Life

General Eating Disorder Information

“The myth that only "certain people" experience eating disorders has had a damaging and dangerous outcome of excluding folks from marginalized communities from receiving the diagnoses and treatment they deserve. Recognizing that eating disorders affect people of all genders, ages, races, ethnicities, body shapes and weights, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses is critical to making sure everyone has access to help and support.”
—Dr. Kelli Rugless

As a general overview, eating disorders are a unique set of complex psychiatric conditions that involve a disruption in a person’s relationship with their body and food. Because food is requisite for life, the physical consequences may be severe and often impact every organ system in the body. As serious and life-altering as eating disorders can be, there are treatment options that are effective at restoring a person's health, and the providers at Flourish Psychology are specialists in this field who are honored to be able to join you on your journey toward recovery.

 

Below is a list of the most common disorders and a general description:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information, the following website are fantastic sources of general eating disorder information:

The Project HEAL: www.theprojectheal.org

National Alliance for Eating Disorders: www.allianceforeatingdisorders.com

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa: www.anad.org

Anorexia Nervosa

A disorder characterized by restriction of food (i.e. skipping meals, small portions, limiting or excluding food groups), fear of weight gain, lack of insight into the seriousness of the condition, an inaccurate body image (i.e. feel larger than they are), and an over-evaluation of body image in a person’s identity.

Bulimia Nervosa

A disorder characterized by eating large amounts of food in a short period of time and compensating for that intake by purging the food consumed in some way (i.e. vomiting, laxative or diuretic use, exercising, fasting).

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

A disorder characterized by avoiding food for non-body-image issues. The most common reasons an individual avoids food are because of a sensory sensitivity (i.e. texture, taste or appearance), a fear of negative consequences (e.g. a choking incident that creates anticipatory anxiety), or a lack of interest in eating. It is important to note, that people with ARFID may also struggle with body image but their discomfort with their appearance is not the main source of their struggle to nourish themselves.

Binge Eating Disorder

A disorder characterized by a person eating a large amount of food in a short period of time, a sense of being on “autopilot” during the episodes, and a lack of engagement in purging behaviors following the episodes.

Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder

A handful of disorders that are serious and require treatment of some sort but fall short of fully meeting the rigid criteria of the main diagnoses listed above but are still very serious in nature and generally require urgent attention. One important diagnosis to highlight is Atypical Anorexia Nervosa. A person diagnosed with this meets all of the criteria of Anorexia Nervosa except the individual is above or within normal weight projections for their height limits. As less than 10% of people with Anorexia have a low body weight, there is nothing atypical about this condition. 

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