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Eating disorders are a complex mental illness. They are serious and potentially life-threatening disorders that can have devastating effects on emotional health, physical health and relationships. Eating disorders are not a fad or a lifestyle and, contrary to popular belief, they are not about food, weight and shape. Eating disorders are a destructive coping skill used to temper distress, to numb out and to manage what one allows in and out, e.g.: people, emotions, experiences, and metaphorically, food. 

Refusal to maintain a minimal body weight appropriate for age & height (less than 85% of IBW)

Intense fear of gaining weight

Severe body image distortion

Self evaluation is strongly influenced by body weight, shape and size

Amenorrhea (in women)


Recurrent episodes of binge eating followed by purging (e.g.: vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, enemas, excessive exercise, fasting)

Self evaluation is strongly influenced by body weight, shape and size


Frequent consumption of an unusually large amount of food in a discrete period of time

Eating when not physically hungry and until uncomfortably full

Feeling of being out of control during binge episode followed by guilt and shame


Disordered eating behaviors and/or patterns that do not meet diagnostic criteria for the above mentioned eating disorder diagnoses

This includes atypical or subclinical anorexia, bulimia + binge-eating disorder (e.g.: someone may meet all of the diagnostic criteria for anorexia except that their weight is in a healthier range)

Any other disordered feeding or eating patterns that cause significant impairment and/or distress.







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