While you may have heard the term “eating disorder” before, you may not be sure exactly what qualifies as an eating disorder. There are multiple kinds of eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa involves extreme food restriction and exercise, bulimia nervosa involves binging and purging, along with extreme exercise, and binge-eating disorder involves binging without the purging aspect that bulimia nervosa has. While these disorders differ, each have certain things that qualify them as an eating disorder.
Severe And Persistent Disturbance In Eating Behaviors
One thing that qualifies a eating problem is if it causes severe and persistent disturbance in eating behaviors. This could be lack of eating, overeating, restricting and overeating, overeating and purging, and other variations of these behaviors. If you are experiencing these behaviors, or if someone close to you is, then it is in your best interest to seek professional help.
Distressing Thoughts And Emotions Associated With Eating
Another important qualifier is the presence of distressing thoughts and emotions that are always associated with eating. This may be a fear of food in general or of specific foods, an overwhelming fear of gaining weight when eating food, anxiety when going out with friends when food is involved, and other distressing thoughts.
Food Thoughts And Behaviors Affect Physical, Psychological and Social Function
Lastly, if your thoughts and actions around food affect your physical, psychological, and social function, then you definitely have an eating disorder. This can affect your job, your personal relationships, your professional relationships, schooling, and your overall ability to function normally each day.