Eating disorders are real, complex illnesses that can cause severe harm. Like schizophrenia or diabetes, eating disorders are not a choice, fad, or phase. Eating disorders are also more prevalent than many people realize, and they rarely resolve on their own. Fortunately, they are treatable. The Emily Program provides personalized treatment plans that help each person on the path to recovery.
Types of eating disorders
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) recognizes five primary types of eating disorders.
Anorexia Nervosa (AN): Anorexia is characterized by extended and extreme food restriction and malnourishment that causes dramatic and sustained weight loss. Anorexia often presents with a fear of gaining weight and other body image issues.
Binge Eating Disorder (BED): BED is categorized by an excessive and uncontrollable consumption of food without the regular use of compensatory measures (purging, laxative use, etc.) to counteract the binge eating.
Bulimia Nervosa (BN): For those with bulimia, food is consumed and then expelled by purging, laxatives or other methods. Bulimia typically presents with a fear of weight gain and other body image concerns.
Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OSFED): OSFED is a feeding or eating disorder that results in significant distress or life disturbance, but does not meet the criteria for anorexia, binge eating, or bulimia. One example of OSFED is someone who is experiencing most of the symptoms of anorexia but is maintaining a “normal” weight.
Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID): ARFID is a feeding or eating disorder typically driven by fear, a lack of interest in food, or an avoidance of certain foods, resulting in continued failure to meet nutritional needs. ARFID often presents without a drive for thinness.
In addition, people may struggle with food in ways that resemble more than one of the DSM-5 types of eating disorders or they may present symptoms not defined in the DSM-5 categories. The Emily Program treats these as well.