Eating disorders are pathological forms of behavior regarding the consumption of food. In a normal situation, eating allows us to satisfy our nutritional needs, through the gratification of the appetite.
What eating disorders are
People suffering from eating disorders don’t usually feel the ordinary stimula of hunger and satiation, so they can keep on eating beyond satiation or stop eating completely. There are three major eating disorders:
It’s a state of psychological distress in which a person has a distorted image of his/her body, seeing himself/herself as overweight and so refuses to eat, submitting to extreme diets, which can lead to malnutrition and serious physical consequences.
It’s an uncontrollable urge to ingest a great amount of food that is followed by acts directed at preventing weight gain. These eating sprees are always accompanied by an intense feeling of guilt and the desire to get rid of everything ingested as quickly as possible, through self-induced vomit or the large use of laxatives.
Binge Eating Disorder
This pathology, ascribable to bulimia nervosa, is especially common among adolescents. It’s characterized by the habit of eating uncontrollably during the entire day, without the expelling acts (vomit or laxatives) that we find in other eating disorders.
A psychotherapist’s help can be crucial in order in becoming aware of the issue and starting, individually or with family members, a path of rehabilitation and therapy.