Eating Disorders: Two You May Not Know Much About

Article excerpt

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week happens from February 26 - March 3 this year. Here are two eating disorders that don't always get as much attention, yet that our students struggle with regularly.

Binge-Eating Disorder

* People who have this disorder have frequent episodes of compulsive overeating, often at least two binge-eating episodes per week, on average, for six months

* Unlike people with bulimia they do not purge their bodies after eating

* During binges, they often eat alone or very quickly, regardless of whether they feel hungry or full

* They often feel guilt or shame over their actions

* Binge-eating disorder is a vicious cycle, as the excessive eating usually causes guilt, unhappiness or stress, which may lead to more binge eating

* Binge-eating disorder often leads to obesity, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes

* Someone with this disorder may eat between 10,000 and 20,000 calories per day

* People with binge-eating disorder often have coexisting psychological illnesses including anxiety, depression and personality disorders

* As many as half of all people with binge-eating disorder are depressed or have been depressed in the past

* Certain behaviors more com mon in people with binge-eating disorder include abusing alcohol, acting impulsively, not feeling in charge of themselves, and not noticing and/or talking about their feelinss

Signs & symptoms include:

* A marked increase in food consumption

* Weight gain

* Secretive eating habits

* A compulsion to eat as much as possible

* Eating even when full

* Eating very quickly

* A feeling that binges are out of control, but a compulsion to continue

* Hiding food containers

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

* This is characterized by a fixation with a real or imagined visual imperfection on the body

* Certain physical obsessions are common among people with BDD. These include:

* Size or shape of a facial feature, like the nose

* Moles or freckles

* Acne

* Scars

* Body/facial hair

* Thinning hair

* Breast size

* Size and shape of genitals

* The preoccupation with appearance causes significant distress and/or shame

* It may cause impairment in work, school or social settings

* The preoccupation is not accounted for by another mental illness

* People with BDD may have very low self-esteem

* This disorder can cause self-alienation from peers

* People with BDD may be inclined to get plastic surgery

Signs & symptoms include:

* A large amount of time spent looking in mirrors

* Constantly talking about their appearance

* Using hands or posture to hide or draw attention away from defect

* Wearing specific clothing or a lot of makeup to hide flaw

* Frequently measuring perceived or exaggerated defect

* Putting themselves down, calling themselves unattractive

* Skin picking

* A lot of exercise, if the fixation is with muscle

* Refusing to have pictures taken

* Excessive grooming

* Avoiding social situations (so the flaw or perceived flaw will not be noticed)

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