What Are Eating Disorders?

Updated: May 23

Did you know anorexia nervosa has the highest death rate of all mental illnesses?

What Are Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders are mental illnesses that are characterized by an unhealthy, abnormal relationship with food. There are various types of eating disorders and different mechanisms that support disordered eating behaviors, often poor body image. Individuals with eating disorders might starve themselves of the calories they need in hopes of obtaining an ‘ideal’ body image. A person suffering from an eating disorder usually has a distorted view of what their body actually looks like and sees themselves as much larger than they actually are. Others may engage in behaviors like binging on thousands of calories of food in a short period of time, or they might attempt to purge the food by way of vomiting or exercising for extended periods of time. Eating disorders are illnesses that impact not only the sufferer, but extend outward, impacting their families and social interactions.

How Do Eating Disorders Impact Your Life?

Eating disorders have you thinking about food all of the time. Eating disorders will have you planning every social interaction so that you can avoid eating, plan where you will go so you can decide exactly what you are eating beforehand, even make you isolate from friends and family so that you don’t have to deal with managing food in front of others.

People suffering from eating disorders often lose touch with their close friends and push family away so as not to have to explain their behaviors surrounding food. Shame and guilt involved with having an eating disorder causes individuals to isolate and retreat.


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