There are a variety of eating disorders that can be diagnosed, and these mental disorders can be very challenging to treat for many reasons. The 3 most common types of eating disorders that are diagnosed are anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and binge eating. While these mental disorders may seem to be associated with the food the truth is that each one is driven by psychological factors and the food and eating patterns are just a symptom and not the cause of the mental illness. The symptoms and health risks are different with each of the disorders.
A breakdown of the 3 most common mental disorders which qualify as eating disorders is as follows:
Anorexia Nervosa- These individuals see themselves as overweight or fat no matter how low their body mass and BMI go, and they severely restrict calorie intake, exercise obsessively, and are constantly focused on their weight. Some risk factors for this mental disorder include perfectionism, struggles around meals, childhood trauma experiences, childhood eating conflicts, low body mass index, and poor body image.
Bulimia Nervosa- This eating disorder is also referred to as binge and purge. The individual binges on large quantities of food and then compensates by purging in ways such as vomiting, taking excessive amounts of laxatives, and engaging in strenuous bouts of activity for extended periods of time. Some of the risk factors for bulimia include early puberty, constant dieting, fasting, thin-ideal internalization, dissatisfaction with body image, and general feelings of inadequacy.
Binge Eating- This disorder causes excessive amounts of food to be consumed, often leading to weight gain, and this can form a viscous cycle. The individual binges because of psychological factors, then they feel guilt and shame, and this leads to another episode of binge eating.