The most common types of eating disorders are bulimia (bulimia nervosa) and anorexia (anorexia nervosa). Both are very serious conditions, and if left untreated, can lead to serious medical problems or even death.
According to a recent article I read, individuals who have eating disorders don’t see their bodies the way everyone else does and they focus on dangerous methods of weight control to improve their body image. Anorexic individuals may appear to everyone else as healthy and just the right weight; but when they look in the mirror they are displeased with what they see. Oftentimes, an anorexic individual is very thin and can’t maintain a normal body weight. Some people with anorexia stay extremely thin by eating almost nothing and exercising excessively. People who are bulimic are often of a normal weight or see themselves as overweight. Instead of eating a small amount, they will binge on a large amounts of food (often junk food) and then afterward, try work it all off by exercising or throwing up. These extreme methods of weight control can cause irreversible damage to a person’s body.
Eating disorders are very serious medical and psychological conditions. The longer someone has an eating disorder, the harder it is to overcome. An eating disorder isn’t something someone can fix him or herself. It takes the intervention of doctors, counselors, friends, and family to help them recognize the unhealthy direction they are going and to get them on the path of good physical health and positive body image.