Eating Disorders
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Symptoms of Eating Disorders


Anorexia Nervosa
Bulimia Nervosa
Compulsive Overeating

Eating disorders are characterized by chronic and sometimes severe disturbances in eating and behavior around food. The practice of an eating disorder can be viewed as a coping mechanism gone berserk. Just as an alcoholic uses alcohol to cope, a person with an eating disorder can use eating, purging or restricting to deal with their problems. Some of the underlying issues that are associated with an eating disorder include low self-esteem, depression, and feelings of loss of control, feelings of worthlessness, identity concerns, family communication problems and an inability to cope with emotions. The practice of an eating disorder may be an expression of emotion when that individual has found no other alternative. Eating disorders are usually divided into three categories: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Compulsive Overeating.

Symptoms common to all eating disorders may include:
  • A persistent sense of unworthiness and low self-esteem.
  • A continual need to control surroundings and emotions.
  • The use of food as an attempt to deal with external and internal conflicts, such as stress, unhappiness, anxiety, and anger.
  • An emotional association between self-worth and body size.
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