Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by weight loss (or lack of appropriate weight gain in growing children); difficulties maintaining an appropriate body weight for height, age and stature; and, in many individuals, distorted body image.
Bulimia nervosa is characterized by a cycle of binge eating and compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting designed to undo or compensate for the effects of binge eating.
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder, the most common eating disorder in the United States, is characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food; a feeling of a loss of control during the binge; experiencing shame, distress or guilt afterward; and not regularly using unhealthy compensatory measures to counter the binge eating.
Other Specific Eating Disorders
- Orthorexia: Orthorexia was coined in 1998 to describe an obsession with proper or ‘healthful’ eating.
- Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED): OSFED, known as Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) in previous editions of the DSM, was developed to encompass individuals who do not meet strict criteria for anorexia or bulimia but still have a significant eating disorder.
- Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID): ARFID, previously referred to as “selective eating disorder,” involves limitations in the amount and/or types of food consumed but does not involve any distress about body shape or size, or fears of fatness.
- Pica: Pica is an eating disorder that involves eating items that are not typically thought of as food and that do not contain significant nutritional value, such as hair, dirt and paint chips.
- Rumination Disorder: Rumination disorder involves the regular regurgitation of food that occurs for at least one month. Regurgitated food may be re-chewed, re-swallowed or spit out.
- Unspecified Feeding or Eating Disorder (UFED): Unspecified feeding or eating disorder (UFED) applies to presentations where symptoms characteristic of a feeding and eating disorder that cause clinically significant distress or impairment predominate but do not meet the full criteria for any of the disorders in the feeding and eating disorders diagnostic class.
- Laxative Abuse: Laxative abuse is serious and dangerous, and involves the repeated, frequent use of laxatives to eliminate unwanted calories, lose weight, “feel thin” or “feel empty.”
- Compulsive Exercise: Compulsive exercise is extreme, excessive exercise that significantly interferes with areas of one’s life. Many people struggle with symptoms associated with this term.