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The two main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa; the third category mentioned above includes several variations of eating disorders, which, in some way, are similar to the two main types. Earlier, binge eating was defined as a separate eating disorder; today, however, it is regarded as one of eating disorders not otherwise specified. These days, in the United States, about twenty-four million of people suffer from an eating disorder, and among other mental illnesses, it is eating disorders that have the highest mortality rate (ANAD).
Causes of eating disorders are various and complex, and they include biological, genetic, psychological, behavioral and social factors (National Institute of Mental Health). Risk factors include having a history of eating disorders in a family as well as substance abuse and depression; being criticized for their weight, body shape, eating habits; having particular characteristics, such as an anxiety disorder having an obsessive personality, being a perfectionist etc.; having difficult relationship with friends and/or family members; experiencing stressful situations; having particular experiences, such as emotional or sexual abuse etc. (NHS Choices, 2015).
People who have anorexia nervosa try to keep their weight as low as possible by any means. This disorder is characterized by “emaciation, a relentless pursuit of thinness and unwillingness to maintain a normal or healthy weight, a distortion of body image and intense fear of gaining weight, a lack of menstruation among girls and women, and extremely disturbed eating behavior” (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services). People with anorexia nervosa perceive themselves as overweight and try to lose weight resorting to exercising, dieting, misusing diuretics, laxatives, and inducing vomiting. Such serious symptoms ...Show more
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Any eating disorder is marked by extremes. This means that a person’s eating behavior is characterized by severe disturbances, for example, extreme overeating or extreme…
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