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I often hear about celebrities who suffer from anorexia, bulimia, overeating and other disorders that are somehow associated with the intake of food. To be honest, I don’t really know what the difference between them is. Could you please explain eating disorders, the differences between them, the causes and the treatments? Is it true that they all have something to do with mental issues?

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When we talk about eating disorders, we have to mention at least three different types of food problems. They are bulimia, anorexia and overeating or binging. Those disorders deal with the abnormal food intake and special type of behaviour accompanying it. Basically, we can agree that all those problems are deeply associated with, as you say, mental issues, or, in other words, that the usual cause (or one of the usual causes) is not primarily physical, but comes from unresolved emotional or other personal problems. Overeating or binging refers to an enormously large food intake characterised by weight gain, eating when having problems and when hurt or upset, buying large quantities of food, eating in secret... It differs from bulimia, which is also based on excessive food consumption, in the attitude toward weight gaining. Both disorders are characterised by low self - esteem and feeling of not being good enough, but while person who binges just gains weight, person will bulimia feels that overeating and weight gaining will make him/her even more worthless, and he/she indices vomiting or uses laxatives in order to prevent weight gaining. Anorexia, on the other hand, means very low food intake initiated by “I’m too fat, have to lose weight” thoughts. Anorexic persons keep track of the amount of calories taken during the day, practise various types of diets, exercise and exhaust themselves to death. Anorexic persons are usually those who otherwise satisfy people around them (good students, no problematic behaviour), but cannot satisfy themselves - they always think that they are not good enough and they want to be in control by obsessively controlling the amount of food and kilos added. The features presented here are just those most prominent - other types of behaviour and different symptoms are possible, as well as the combinations of symptoms. The most important think is to notice the symptoms as early as possible and report that to doctor. These disorders require serious and devoted treatments conducted by special teams of experts.
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