Someone with Anorexia extensively restricts their food intake. They often have an intense fear of gaining weight and may think they are ‘fat’ when they are actually too thin. They believe that their body/appearance defines who they are. Restrictive dieting and compulsive exercising can lead to Anorexia.
A person with Bulimia will over-eat in a short period of time and will often feel ‘out of control’ while eating. After these episodes, they then aim to control their weight gain and appearance by vomiting/purging, using laxatives or other medications or exercising beyond a healthy level.
Binge Eating Disorder occurs in someone who cannot control their eating habits. They may eat very quickly, eat lots of food in a short amount of time, eat even when they are full or not hungry or eat when they are bored, stressed or upset. They may also be secretive about their food and will often eat alone. A person with Binge Eating can be under, over or at normal weight.
Eating disorders can occur in many forms and do not have to have a “clinical” name. Someone with a generalised eating disorder will still need just as much help and treatment to become well and healthy again.