Updated: Mar 3, 2022
We all have times when we feel our lives spinning so out of control that we will do anything and we try little bits of everything to hold it together.
For me it was cutting while I was in high school. I grew up with abusive guardians and every outlet I was using to release my emotions was taken from me, so I waited until everyone was asleep and took a knife. I did this several times until I was almost caught, then I found someone I could confide in, that was what I really needed.
Eating disorders can be the same for some as cutting was for me, a way of having control. It can end the same way as it did for me, almost getting caught. I want to throw this out there for those who are reading this on behalf of those you know or suspect may have an eating disorder.
What is an eating disorder? In a nutshell it is an unhealthy relationship with food, their weight or appearance.
Here is a list of different eating disorders with a short description of what they are with links to learn more about each one in further detail and with warning signs. Some people may have more than one disorder.
Bulimia Nervosa- Cycles of extreme overeating (binge eating) and self-induced vomiting.
Binge Eating Disorder- Recurrent binge eating without regularly using measures to counter the bingeing.
Orthorexia- Obsessive with nutritional food to the point of damaging well-being.
Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED)- Those with a significant eating disorder that do not fall into the previous categories.
Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)- Previously known as Selective Eating Disorder, involves limitation to amount and types of foods without distress about body shape or size.
Pica- Eating items not typically thought of as foods.
Rumination Disorder- Regular regurgitation of food that occurs automatically for at least one month.
Unspecified Feeding or Eating Disorder- Cause distress to the person and impairment in multiple settings without meeting descriptions in the above disorders.
These are not Eating Disorders but they are related, so they get a mention:
Laxative Abuse- Using laxatives to alter body and eliminate unwanted calories.
Compulsive exercise- When exercise significantly interferes with other life activities.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)- Unwanted thoughts, images, and urges that cause enough distress to impact daily life.
Eating disorders are important because they can impact all areas of the body and have long-term consequences. If you are struggling with this know that you have many people around who who love you even in your darkest moments and when you can't even love yourself. Reach out to them.
What anyone struggling needs is love, an abundance of love and empathy.
If you are struggling, you can be that for yourself until you are ready to share with someone else. As Brene' Brown says shame cannot survive being spoken.
Please know you are not alone in your struggle, no matter what it is. You are not the one in a million with your battle and shame. You matter and you are found, right here with us. We have resources to get you the help you need.
If you need immediate help call 9-1-1. If you need general counseling call 1-800-662-help
If you need help with an eating disorder and would like to chat, click here.
If you would like eating disorder statistics, click here.
Sources for this article came from: