Many people confuse eating disorders with strict dieting, but they are not the same thing at all. They are caused by mental and emotional problems and cause the sufferer to experience feelings of low self-worth, which will in turn effect their behaviour towards everyday life and their friends and family.

Anorexia nervosa is one of the primary disorders. The phrase itself means “a lack of desire to eat“. The sufferer of Anorexia nervosa believes themselves to be fat, no matter how thin they become. They become obsessed with counting calories and will adopt devious behaviour in order to skip meals and hide food. In common with all of these disorders, Anorexics suffer from low self esteem and tend to use the condition as a means of self punishment.

The next most common disorder is Bulimia nervosa, it has many similarities with Anorexia but in this condition sufferers do not avoid food, they eat and then they purge. Purging means deliberately eliminating the food from the body before it has had time to be digested properly by means of either laxatives or self induced vomiting. Bulimics weight gain tends to go from one extreme to another, which is commonly called yo-yo dieting.

Having an addiction to food is called Compulsive Eating Disorder. Again this is a similar condition to both Anorexia and Bulimia in that it affects self esteem in a very negative way but it is different in the respect that sufferers do not purge. Because they do not purge this means they keep all the calories they consume meaning they are usually vastly overweight. The more weight they gain the less likely it is they will have any kind of social life and indeed some find themselves confined to not only their home but their bed too, thus leading to further depressive feelings.

People who suffer from Compulsive Eating Disorder tend to eat obsessively until they are dangerously overweight. Conditions such as heart attacks and strokes are liable to be a cause for real concern amongst sufferers due to high cholesterol in their diets.

Binge Eating Disorder is another closely related illness with the sufferer showing the same symptoms of low self esteem as in all the previously mentioned disorders. Binge eating is most closely linked to Compulsive Eating Disorder and shares many of the same features except it is done with less frequency.

Binge eaters are exceptionally secretive and store food away purposely to eat when they can be by themselves. They will eat uncomfortable amounts to the point they feel sick but will not make themselves sick. The feelings of guilt and shame associated with eating such vast quantities of food are often used as self inflicted punishment as they consider themselves undeserving and unworthy.