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who is ED?

ED is often used as an acronym for "Eating Disorder." Clinicians and clients alike frequently use "ED" when conversing about various types of eating disorders, namely: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, and Other Specified Eating or Feeding Disorders.

Below are brief definitions of eating disorders. Further information on these eating disorders is available through numerous online sources.

Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia is characterized by a fear of weight gain and a resistance to maintain a body weight that falls within minimally normal range, and it is commonly accompanied by a distorted body image. Anorexia is marked by self-induced starvation. Two types of Anorexia have been identified: Restricting Type and Binge-Eating/Purging Type. Anorexia Restricting Type involves weight loss through dieting and/or complete fasting, and excessive exercise. Anorexia Binge-Purge type involves a combination of restricting behaviors and compensatory behaviors. These behaviors, which occur post binges and/or post consumption of any food at all, include vomiting, and the use of laxatives, diuretics, and enemas.

Bulimia Nervosa
Bulimia is characterized by binge eating followed by the elimination of food through unusual means, such as vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, and enemas. Bulimia frequently includes restricting behaviors and compulsive/excessive exercise. People struggling with Bulimia often maintain a normal body weight; however, they frequently report preoccupation with weight and body shape/size, as well as body distortion.

Two types of Bulimia have been identified: Purging and Nonpurging Type. Purging Type includes food elimination post binges as described above, while Nonpurging Type includes fasting and/or excessive exercise.

Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder
According to The Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th edition, 2013) this refers to the category of eating disorders that do not meet full diagnostic criteria for the other eating disorders mentioned.

Binge Eating Disorder
Binge Eating Disorder is characterized by regular and consistent periods of excessive overeating. It does not include inappropriate compensatory behaviors. A binge typically occurs within two hours or less and involves the abnormally large consumption of food.

Compulsive Overeating
This type of eating-disordered behavior can occur in any of the eating disorders described above; however, it may/may not constitute an eating disorder all on its own. There is no specific 'compulsive overeating disorder' diagnosis listed in the DSM V to date, but that does not diminish the serious and destructive nature of this problem.

While this type of eating does not meet the criteria for a binge, it has similar properties. Anxious and/or "mindless" eating can occur throughout the day, or at various times in the day/night. The quantity of food consumed is more than a person needs/truly wants, but doesn't reach binge proportions. Typically, feelings of guilt, shame, and loss of control follow the behavior.

Erasing ED - Nicole Laby