The American Psychiatric Association has classified eating disorders into several categories: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, eating disorder-NOS and body dysmorphic disorder.
The classification system developed by APA is somewhat helpful, but it actually leaves many people feeling confused and invalidated about their eating disorders. Did you know?…One survey found that 52 percent of people with eating disorders did not meet the criteria for Anorexia or Bulimia Nervosa? They ended up in a confusing subcategory called, “Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (NOS).” With our current classification system, many people end up wondering, “Do I even have an eating disorder?”
Looking at the different types of eating disorders can often make people feel left out, as if they really don’t have an eating disorder. There is really an overemphasis placed on thinness in this field. If people are extremely underweight they may be able to have their eating disorder validated by family, friends, professionals and the medical community. But, did you know, eating disorders can happen to males and females across all ages and people with eating disorders come in every shape and size! The myth that thin, young females are the only ones with eating disorders has caused hundreds of people to be misdiagnosed and confused about their own problem. Eating disorder studies have been able to factor eating disorders down to a few key issues. Do these sound familiar to you? You may have an eating disorder if you:
- • Are preoccupied with food, weight and body image (ask yourself: “what percentage of your day do you spend thinking about food, weight and body image?”)
- • Have an intense drive for thinness and body perfection. (regardless of what you weigh)
- • Tend to struggle with restricting(dieting, attempting to delay or prevent eating), purging, bingeing (a feeling of loss of control over eating ) and/or compulsive overexercise.
- • Have very distressing feelings about your body.
These are really the issues of concern when diagnosing eating disorders. People who are underweight or overweight may have weight management as one aspect of their treatment, but really treating the entire mind, body and soul is crucial to achieve lasting and full recovery.
People with eating disorders spend tremendous amounts of time in fear, guilt and shame regarding their bodies. Control is a big issue, ranging from complete, obsessive control over eating to feeling completely in despair and out of control. Their entire self-worth may be at stake upon eating the wrong thing or believing this day that their bodies look so wrong.
Healthy people feel comfortable with their bodies, eat when they are hungry, stop when they are full, plan and eat meals and snacks they enjoy, and have a stable, healthy body weight.
At Rago & Associates we are dedicated to supporting and guiding you on the way to full and complete recovery from eating disorders. We will work with you and your family to create a treatment plan for eating disorder recovery that is as special and unique as you are. And we will help you every step of the way. Whether you have just begun to wonder about an eating disorder, or if you have been stuck or struggling for years, our experience, expertise and resources will always come up with more ideas. Instead of blaming yourself or your loved one, try something new and experience the “Ragos” difference.