Disordered Eating: Comprehensive Guide

Disordered Eating Signs, Causes and Treatment

Disordered eating is a serious mental health condition that can be difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to treat. If you or someone you know is struggling with disordered eating, this comprehensive guide will help you understand the condition and what you can do to get help.

What Is Disordered Eating?

What is Disordered Eating?

Disordered eating is a term used to describe a pattern of abnormal eating habits (including an obsession with food, weight control, and certain types of dieting) that can lead to serious health problems.

If you are struggling with disordered eating, there is hope. There are many resources available to help you recover from your disorder and live a healthy, happy life. Here is a comprehensive guide to help you understand what disordered eating is, how it impacts your body, and what you can do to overcome it.

If you or someone you know is struggling with disordered eating, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There are many resources available to help you on your path to recovery.

The Different Types of Disordered Eating

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to treating disordered eating, as each person coping with this issue will experience it in their way. However, there are some general characteristics that all types of disordered eating share. Here, we’ll take a look at the different types of disordered eating and how they differ from one another.

Compulsive overeating

Most people know someone who compulsively overeats – this can be a problem for anyone, but it’s particularly common among women. Compulsive overeating is characterized by an intense urge to eat more than usual, coupled with an inability to stop eating even when you’re full. This behavior can lead to weight gain and health problems like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder (BED) is similar to compulsive overeating in that it involves an overwhelming urge to eat large amounts of food in a short period. However, unlike compulsive overeating, binge eating disorder occurs only during episodes of bingeing – ie., when the individual eats a large amount of food in a single sitting or within a few hours. Unlike compulsive overeating, binge eating disorder is not associated with weight gain or health problems.

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious mental illness characterized by an intense fear of weight gain and a distorted body image. People with AN often obsess about their weight and believe that they are too thin – even when they’re dangerously underweight. This can lead to drastic measures like dieting and fasting, as well as extreme weight loss or weight gain. AN can also cause significant health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa (BN) is a condition characterized by recurrent episodes of binging and purging – ie., eating large amounts of food then emptying the stomach or vomiting it back up. Bingeing and purging can lead to weight loss or weight gain, but it’s usually accompanied by significant psychological distress. BN is more common in women than in men, and it’s more commonly diagnosed in people who are younger than 25 years old.

Excessive Eating Disorder

Excessive eating disorder (ED) is a category that includes both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. People with ED have a fear of weight gain to the point where they restrict their food intake to dangerously low levels. This can lead to Weight loss, but it’s also associated with psychological distress and health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and infertility.

What Are The Warning Signs of Disordered Eating?

What Are The Warning Signs of Disordered Eating?

The warning signs of disordered eating can vary depending on the person, but they typically include as

Intense Focus on Weight

One of the most common warning signs of disordered eating is an intense focus on weight and body image. People with disordered eating may become obsessed with their weight, and may start to restrict their food intake or exercise excessively to lose weight. They may also engage in unhealthy weight-loss practices, such as using diet pills or extreme dieting methods.

Associated With Harsh Diet Regimens

People with disordered eating often follow very restrictive diets, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies and other health problems. They may also be extremely selective about what they eat, often preferring highly processed foods and junk foods. These unhealthy eating habits can contribute to weight gain and other health problems.

Excessively Restrictive Behaviors

People with disordered eating frequently restrict their food intake to the point where they become very restricted in all areas of their life. They may avoid social events or food gatherings out of fear that they will overeat. They may also start avoiding certain foods altogether, even if this means missing out on important nutrients or minerals that are essential for good health.

Extreme Dieting

People with disordered eating may become obsessed with counting calories or weight and may engage in extreme dieting methods that can lead to malnutrition or even death. They may also skip meals entirely to restrict their calorie intake even further. This type of restrictive dieting is often very difficult to maintain over a long period and can lead to serious health problems if not properly monitored.

Preoccupation With Bodies and Appearance

People with disordered eating may become preoccupied with their bodies and appearance, often obsessing over their weight, clothing size, skin appearance, or body shape. They may also become very critical of themselves and feel ashamed or embarrassed about their body. This type of self-esteem issue can lead to further disordered eating behaviors.

Preoccupation With Food and Eating

People with disordered eating may become preoccupied with food and eating to the point where it becomes an obsession. They may spend hours researching diets or shopping for food specifically designed for weight loss, and they may develop a complex set of food rules that they must follow to maintain control over their eating. This type of behavior can lead to binge eating, unhealthy weight gain, and other health problems.

How To Get Help For Disordered Eating?

How To Get Help For Disordered Eating?

If you’re struggling with disordered eating, there’s no shame in admitting it. It can be a difficult issue to deal with on your own, and sometimes seeking professional help is the best course of action. But what should you do first? Here are some tips for getting started:

Recognize that you have a problem

The first step is acknowledging that you have a problem. You need to be honest with yourself about what’s going on and why you’re struggling. This is important because it allows you to start making changes.

Identify your triggers

Once you know what’s causing your disordered eating, you need to identify your triggers. These could be things like food, weight, exercise, stress, or environmental factors. Once you know what’s triggering your eating disorder, you can start to avoid these things or deal with them in a way that won’t influence your eating behavior.

Seek professional help

If after following the above tips you still don’t feel comfortable trying to deal with your disordered eating on your own, it might be worth seeking professional help. There are many different types of professionals who can assist with disordered eating issues, including psychologists, psychiatrists, dieticians, and social workers.

Try a self-help book

If you want to try a self-help book before seeking professional help, there are several options available. Some of the most popular books on the subject include The New York Times Best Seller, The Diet Cure, and Eat This, Not That! If you’re feeling more ambitious, some books focus on specific aspects of disordered eating, like binge eating or weight cycling.

Seek support online

Several online communities cater to people with disordered eating issues. These communities can be a great way to find support and discuss your experiences with other people who have faced similar challenges.

Seek support from family and friends

If you don’t feel comfortable seeking professional help, it might be helpful to talk to family and friends about your struggles. They may be able to provide some support and advice, or they may be able to remind you that you’re not alone.


In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the definition of disordered eating, the different types of disordered eating, and the various symptoms associated with each type. Finally, we will provide tips on how to deal with disordered eating in a healthy and supportive way. I hope that you find this guide helpful as you work to understand your own body and what might be causing unhealthy or dysfunctional habits.

Hope this article was of help to you! If you are suffering from mental health disorders, you may seek help from Therapy Mantra. We have a team of highly trained and experienced therapists who can provide you with the tools and skills necessary for overcoming mental health disorders. Contact us today to schedule an online therapy or download our free Android or iOS app for more information.