Eating Disorder
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Eating Disorder

Eating Disorders:

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “There is a commonly held view that eating disorders are a lifestyle choice. Eating disorders are actually serious and often fatal illnesses that cause severe disturbances to a person’s eating behaviors. Obsessions with food, body weight, and shape may also signal an eating disorder. Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.”  

What is Anorexia Nervosa?

  • Limiting calories
  • A person’s weight is significantly lower than what would be considered healthy.
  • A person is extremely fearful of becoming fat.
  • A person does whatever it takes to remain thin.
  • The way a person perceives their bodies results in a person limiting their caloric intake, fearing that they will gain weight or get fat.  
  • The person experiencing anorexia may not recognize the severity of their low body weight.

What is Bulimia Nervosa?

  • A person eats a large amount of food within a short period of time.  
  • A person experiences a lack of control over how much food they are eating.
  • In order to prevent weight gain, a person uses inappropriate compensatory behaviors such as vomiting, using laxatives or diuretics, fasting, and exercise.
  • A person uses these inappropriate or unhealthy compensatory behaviors at least once a week for three months.  
  • The way a person perceives their bodies results in a person eating a large amount of food and then participating in compensatory behaviors.  

What is Binge- Eating?

  • A person eats a large amount of food in a short period of time.
  • A person experiences a lack of control over how much food they are eating.  
  • Binge eating causes the person major discomfort.
  • Occurs at least once a week for three months
  • Compensatory behaviors (vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, fasting, exercise) are not utilized.

How can an Eating Disorder be treated?

A person’s physical health must be addressed in terms of reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, improving overall nutrition and reducing excessive exercise.  Compulsive behaviors such as vomiting, and the use of laxatives must also be addressed and reduced.  Meeting with your primary care doctor, seeing a nutritionist, seeking mental health treatment and possibly looking into medication management can all be utilized in order to help a person reach ideal physical, mental, and emotional health.  At Aucoin and Associates Psychology Practice, we work with our clients to help them address their mental and physical health concerns as they work through an eating disorder.  


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