Eating disorders are real and treatable disorders that are among the most life-threatening of all mental health disorders. They affect men and women of all ages and are attributed to biological, social, psychological, and genetic factors. These disorders are characterized by a disturbance in the way a person eats and often come with a host of co-occurring issues such as depression, anxiety, and body image issues. There is no singular way an eating disorder manifests itself, and there is no one way a person may look or act to be considered as having an eating disorder. There are many ways an eating disorder may come about, largely characterized by one or more of the following:
Eating disorders are not always related to a desire to lose weight or to change the appearance of one’s body. Oftentimes eating disorders are more about managing emotions, seeking control over the uncontrollable, or perfectionistic tendencies in various aspects of life.