American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5) is defined eating disorder as complex mental health conditions that often require the intervention of medical and psychological experts to alter their course.
No one knows the precise reason behind the causes of eating disorder however, it is observed that eating disorders are common in girls and women. Moreover, these disorder has a tendency to develop during teenage and young adult years.
It can be difficult to recognize the signs of an eating disorder at an early stage because most often people with eating disorders hide their unhealthy behaviors.
A variety of factors can cause eating disorders as per the expert's belief. These factors include personality traits, Western ideals of thinness, differences in brain structure, and biology. Let's explore each factor in detail:
Three personality traits such as neuroticism, perfectionism, and impulsivity are the main drivers behind developing eating disorders. Moreover, these traits can lead to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and self-harm.
It is observed that certain cultures which are not exposed to Western ideals of thinness have no existence of certain types of eating disorders. However, culturally accepted ideals of thinness are very present in many areas of the world.
Experts have started observing that differences in brain structure and biology play a role in the development of eating disorders. In particular, levels of serotonin and dopamine.
After knowing some potential causes for eating disorders, we will now concentrate on types of eating disorders.
In Anorexia nervosa eating disorder patient intensely fears weight gain, refuses to maintain healthy body weight and has a distorted body image. Moreover, People tend to constantly monitor their weight, avoid eating certain types of foods, and severely restrict their calories.
Anorexia is officially categorized into two subtypes 1) The restricting type and 2) The binge eating and purging type. Individuals with the restricting type lose weight solely through dieting, fasting, or excessive exercise. While binge eating and purging type may binge on large amounts of food or eat very little. However in both cases, after they eat, they purge using activities like vomiting, taking laxatives or diuretics, or exercising excessively.
• F50.0- Anorexia Nervosa
• F50.00- Anorexia Nervosa, Unspecified
• F50.01- Anorexia Nervosa, restricting Type
• F50.02- Anorexia Nervosa, Binge eating/Purging Type
In the United States, this type of disorder is very common and typically begins during adolescence and early adulthood, Individuals with this disorder have symptoms similar to the binge eating subtype of anorexia. It is observed that people with this disorder regularly and uncontrollably consume large amounts of food in short periods.
• F50.81- Binge eating disorder
In bulimia nervosa disorder people eat a lot and then try to rid themselves of the food. Symptoms of this disorder may appear very similar to those of the binge eating or purging subtypes of anorexia nervosa. However, individuals with bulimia usually maintain a relatively normal weight, rather than becoming underweight
• F50.02- Bulimia nervosa
Pica is another eating disorder that involves eating non-food substances, such as ice, dirt, soil, chalk, soap, paper, hair, cloth, wool, pebbles, laundry detergent, or cornstarch. This disorder can be observed in children and adolescents and Adults.
• F98.3- Pica of infancy and childhood
• F50.89- Pica in adults
When a child brings back up and re-chews food that was already swallowed mostly the victim of rumination disorder. However, the important thing to notice here is, this disorder must occur in children who had been eating normally prior to onset, and it must have been occurring regularly for at least one month.
• F98.21- Rumination Disorder of infancy
The highest mortality rate of mental disorders in eating disorders and a high incidence of illness, however prompt diagnosis and treatment can help individuals to full recovery
The majority of people can recover from eating disorder with the help of proper treatment such as diet education and advice, psychological interventions, and treatment of concurrent mental ailments such as depression and anxiety disorders from healthcare providers. Early detection of eating disorder helps to treat individuals easily. This treatment may last for weeks or months.