Eating disorders can have a devastating impact an individuals mental and physical health. These serious mental health conditions affect people of all ages, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds. While females are more commonly diagnosed with eating disorders, males also suffer from them. These disorders can take several forms, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and other specified feeding or eating disorders (OSFED).
Anorexia nervosa, commonly known as anorexia, is characterized by a fear of gaining weight or being overweight. People with anorexia nervosa often limit their food intake and engage in excessive exercise to maintain a low weight. They may also have a distorted body image, perceiving themselves as overweight despite being underweight. Anorexia is diagnosed when a person’s weight falls below the normal range for their age, height, sex, and other factors. If you suspect you have anorexia or any other eating disorder, it is crucial to seek help from an telehealth psychologist in Australia right away.
Bulimia nervosa is a condition in which a person engages in repeated binge-eating followed by compensatory behaviours such as vomiting, taking laxatives or diet pills, and excessive exercise to counteract the effects of overeating. People with bulimia nervosa often binge eat in secret and maintain a normal weight, unlike people with anorexia. Binge eating disorder, on the other hand, involves recurrent episodes of binge eating, where a person consumes large amounts of food in a short time. People with binge eating disorder may feel guilty or ashamed of their eating habits and are likely to be overweight or obese.
Other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED) is a catch-all category that includes all other eating disorders that do not fit into the above categories. People with OSFED may exhibit some symptoms of other eating disorders but may not meet all the diagnostic criteria. Regardless of the specific disorder, all eating disorders are characterized by unhealthy eating habits and a distorted body image.
The symptoms of eating disorders can manifest physically, behaviourally, and emotionally. Common physical symptoms include sudden weight loss or gain, an inability to concentrate, fatigue, and dizziness. Behavioural symptoms of an eating disorder include constant dieting, avoiding social situations involving food, binge eating, purging, eating in secret, excessive exercise, and obsessive rituals around food. Emotional symptoms may include an obsession with weight, mealtime anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
If you suspect you have an eating disorder, the first step to recovery is to consult an online psychologist in Australia. At Inner Psych, our team of online psychologists offers various treatments for eating disorders, including cognitive-behavioural therapy and family therapy. We can help you develop new habits and ways of thinking that promote a healthy relationship with food. To reach out to us, visit our website and fill out the contact form. We are here to support you on your journey to recovery.