Eating disorders are real illnesses and are most aptly characterized by a person’s negative sense of body image and eating behaviors. Eating disorders encompass a range of factors that involve an obsession with food, weight and appearance.
These obsessions associated with eating disorders transcend a healthy awareness of image and nutrition to become complex compulsions that adversely affect a person’s daily activities and relationships as well as physical and mental well-being. While commonly reported by young women, eating disorders are pervasive and can impact anyone regardless of age, sex or race.
Symptoms of Eating Disorders
Several behaviors are indicative of eating disorders and may include:
- Restricted food intake.
- Binge eating.
- Bingeing and purging.
- The abuse of laxatives.
- Compulsively overeating.
- Exercising excessively.
It is important to note that these are purely symptoms and not the problem. Eating disorders commonly develop as a way of coping with emotional pain, and the interplay of several factors can place a person at risk for developing an eating disorder. All eating disorders can have severe consequences to a person’s immediate and long-term health and can even lead to death, thus there is a need for people who feel they suffer from an eating disorder to seek appropriate treatment.
- National Eating Disorders Association
- National Institute of Mental Health
- Academy for Eating Disorders
- Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center
- A Place of Hope
If you feel you need help with an eating disorder or any of the factors associated with them, please contact Counseling and Psychological Services at 850.474.2420 or visit the Center in Building 960, Suite 200A, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. to set up an appointment.