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Counseling Center

Eating Disorders


    Why do people develop eating disorders?

    Everyone processes what happens in their own world, in many different ways. Some people can take things all in stride and some cannot handle the stress and uncertainty. For many, food is the only comfort they know, and to others it is something that cannot be trusted and has to be totally controlled. In both ways of thinking, eating problems can develop. Eating too much or not enough can cause problems for the individual. They develop eating disorders and will require some help to overcome these illnesses. Believing that today is the best day to move forward and begin to learn a new healthy balance between food and your life is important.

    What is an eating disorder?

    An eating disorder is an illness characterized by a disturbance in normal eating behaviors, an obsession with body weight, and a distorted body image. Sufferers, who diet, binge and purge, are doing harm to both their mental and physical health. There are three general types of eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. People with anorexia starve their bodies and have an intense fear of weight gain. People with bulimia will binge eat and then use vomiting, laxatives, and excessive exercise, to try and rid their bodies of the food. People who binge-eat frequently consume very large amounts of food at a time, and will feel extremely guilty and full of shame afterwards. Both men and women can suffer from serious eating problems. Many problems can trigger these illnesses, such as troubled relationships, family dynamics, school, depression and abuse. Treatment is available to individuals who seek it, in the forms of counseling, medical evaluations and in some cases, with the use of medication.

    Symptom Checklist:

    Anorexia nervosa

    • deliberate self starvation
    • fear of weight gain
    • continuous dieting
    • compulsive exercise
    • abnormal weight loss
    • cold all of the time
    • loss of menstruation

    Bulimia nervosa

    • preoccupation with food
    • binge eating in privacy
    • vomiting, or use of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas
    • compulsive exercise
    • hiding food
    • dental problems

    Binge eating

    • eating extremely large amounts of food at one time
    • feelings of guilt and shame
    • inability to stop this behavior
    • excessive exercise or fasting


    • depression
    • shame and guilt
    • mood swings
    • "all or nothing" thinking
    • low self esteem
    • impaired family and social
    • relationships
    • perfectionism


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