Eating Disorders

ating disorders do not happen because of someone’s failure of will or behavior. They are real, treatable medical illnesses in which a person is not able to eat normally. There are two types of eating disorders that are commonly diagnosed: anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. A third type of disorder called binge eating disorder has recently
been proposed in the medical community. Eating disorders often develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but according to some reports, they can start during childhood or later in adulthood. The following are symptoms for eating disorders:

A person with anorexia nervosa is:

Treatment of anorexia calls for a specific program that involves three main phases:


(1) restoring weight lost to severe dieting and purging;

(2) treating psychological disturbances such as distortion of body image, low self-esteem, and interpersonal conflicts; and

(3) achieving long-term remission and rehabilitation, or full recovery.

The primary goal of treatment for bulimia is to reduce or eliminate binge eating and purging behavior (NIMH 2007). Medication and psychotherapy together are effective for these serious disorders.