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About Eating Disorders

People hiding their faces with question marks

What are eating disorders?

Eating disorders can be life threatening illnesses. At the surface people with eating disorders experience serious disturbances in their eating behaviour. However individuals with an eating disorder do not solely experience problems around food, weight or shape. These expressions are unhelpful and unhealthy ways which the sufferer has found to cope with difficult emotions, anxieties and fears in his/her life. Individuals with eating disorders generally experience low self-esteem, shame, denial and secrecy and often present co-morbidity with depression, obsessive compulsive tendencies and occasionally psychotic symptoms and delusions.

There are four major classifications for eating disorders. Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia Nervosa (BN), Binge Eating Disorder (BED) and Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). It is not uncommon for individuals to overlap on one or two creating subtypes.The descriptions given below are entirely for diagnostic reference and in no way do they infer causality for that disorder.

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