What is Anorexia Nervosa?
A person with anorexia nervosa, often called anorexia, has an intense fear of gaining weight. Someone with anorexia thinks about food a lot and limits the food she or he eatgs, even though she or he is too thin. Anorexia is more than just a problem with food; it’s a way of using food or starving oneself to feel more in control of life and to ease tension, anger, and anxiety. An anorexic has a low body weight for her or his height, resists keeping a normal body weight, has an intense fear of gaining weight, thinks she or he is fat even when very thin, misses 3 menstrual periods in a row (for girls/women who have started having their periods).
What is Bulimia?
Bulimia nervosa, often called bulimia, is a type of eating disorder. A person with bulimia eats a lot of food in short amoutns of time (binging) and then tries to prevent weight gain by getting rid of the food (purging). Purging might be done by making yourself throw up or taking laxatives. A person with bulimia feels he or she cannot control the amount of food eaten. Also, bulimics might exercise a lot, eat very little or not at all, or take pills to pass urine often to prevent weight gain. Unlike anorexia, people with bulimia can fall within the normal range for their age and weight. But like people with anorexia, bulimics fear gaining weight, want desperately to lose weight, and are very unhappy with their body size and shape.
What is Binge Eating Disorder?
People with binge eating disorder often eat an unusually large amount of food and feel out of control during the binges. Unlike bulimia or anorexia, binge eaters do not throw up their food, exercise a lot, or eat only small amounts of only certain foods. Because of this, binge eaters are often overweight or obese. People with binge eating disorder also may eat more quickly than usual during binge episodes, eat until they are uncomfortably full, eat when they are not hungry, eat alone because of embarrassment, or feel disgusted, depressed, or guilty after overeating.