Which eating disorders exist? - Chapter 9 (Abnormal Psychology)

 Most individuals meet the criteria for two or more eating disorders at different times. Many people do not meet the criteria for an eating disorder, but do show behaviours and concerns that fit in an eating disorder. They are diagnosed with other specified feeding or eating disorder.


Anorexia nervosa


People with anorexia nervosa are hungry themselves, while they are already well under a healthy weight. They do this by not eating or eating for a long time. Although they are already very thin, they insist that they have to lose even more weight. People with anorexia refuse to maintain a healthy, normal weight. Although these people are very emaciated, they have an intense fear of weight gain or fat. They have a disturbed idea about their bodies and think they are fatter than they actually are and therefore have to lose weight.

The self-esteem of these people depends entirely on their body weight and the control over their eating behavior; they feel good when they lose weight and are guilty or worthless if they do not succeed. Due to the loss of weight, people with anorexia nervosa are often chronically fatigued. Despite this fatigue, they continue to draw up heavy training programs to lose weight.

Anorexia nervosa usually starts between 15 and 19 years. 90 to 95 percent of all cases with anorexia nervosa are women. Due to the weight loss, the menstrual cycle stops in girls and women with anorexia, this is called amenorrhea . In the DSM-V the criterion for amenorrhea has been removed from the diagnostic criteria, because many girls with anorexia nervosa still have menstrual activity. Anorexia is, in a physical sense, a dangerous disorder. Serious complications such as a very low heart rate or damage to the kidneys may be the result; 5 to 8 percent of people with anorexia will die of it.

There are two types of anorexia nervosa. People with the restricting type of anorexia nervosa refuse to eat, or eat very small amounts, to prevent them from gaining weight. Some do not eat anything for days. People with the restricting type of anorexia nervosa often have a feeling of distrust towards others and the tendency to deny their problems.

The other type is the binge / purge type of anorexia nervosa. These people have binge eating (binges) that

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