Do I have an eating disorder? | Eating Disorders Victoria
Home Getting help For people with an eating disorder Do I have an eating disorder?

Perhaps someone has approached you with the suggestion that you may have an eating disorder, or perhaps you suspect it yourself.

The main types of eating disorders are:

Anorexia nervosa - People with anorexia restrict how much and what they eat, and may use laxatives, diuretics, vomiting or excessive exercise to get rid of unwanted calories

Bulimia nervosa - People with bulimia engage in repeated binge eating episodes followed by what’s known as “compensatory behaviours” to get rid of the extra calories. These behaviours include self-induced vomiting, fasting, overexercising, or the misuse of laxatives, enemas or diuretics.

Binge eating disorder - People with BED have episodes of eating a very large amount of food in a short time; feel out of control while they are eating and feel shame or guilt after they eat, and do not vomit or overexercise to make up for the extra calories.

Other eating disorders - Very often people don’t meet the exact criteria for anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder but they still engage in eating behaviours that cause them major distress. These disorders fall under the term OSFED (Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder). It’s important to note that they are not less serious than a “typical” eating disorder, and in fact it’s extremely common for people to receive a diagnosis of OSFED.

You do not need to have all of the signs of an eating disorder to need help. If one or more of the signs stand out for you, then it is important that you take them seriously. It’s also important to understand that the majority of people with an eating disorder do not look very underweight or overweight. Your thoughts, feelings and behaviours are a more accurate measure of wellness than your body size or shape.

Your feelings

You may feel confused, angry, resentful, or even protective of your eating disorder and the role it plays in your life. You may believe you don’t have a problem, or you know your behaviour is irregular but have no real desire to change.

Or you may be thinking about changing your behaviours and are ready to start recovering, and feeling hopeful, fearful, scared, anxious, relieved, or all of these things at the same time!

The good news is that recovery from an eating disorder is possible, and with the right support and treatment you can overcome it.

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