Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. People suffering from eating disorders may not realize how serious their illness has become, and therefore may not seek treatment in a timely way. The longer an eating disorder exists, the more ingrained the behaviors become and the harder it is to treat. Education and prevention are keys to early intervention and lasting recovery.
What is Causing the Growing Epidemic of Disordered Eating
Clinical eating disorders have clear indications and criteria for diagnosis. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and eating disorder not otherwise specified (ED-NOS) are all represented in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-V (DSM-V) and have strict parameters for diagnosis. Not so easy to spot are those eating habits that, although they may not fit the definition of an eating disorder, have troubling consequences for a person’s physical and emotional health. These eating behaviors fall into a category termed disordered eating, and they are far more prevalent than we may have realized.