Dr. Berkus shares what the most common eating disorders are.
Well, as a psychiatrist we have definitions that we go by, so one definition is called anorexia nervosa. This is what probably most people think is the standard eating disorder. This is involved with the patient who doesn’t see their true body weight and strives for a thinness that becomes unhealthy, and so these patients have several problems based on the fact they are not getting proper, enough amounts of food and they are literally starving themselves to death.
Another classification is bulimia nervosa and this is a patient that will frequently binge or eat anything; binge to them may be a normal meal and then have a compensatory or behavior after eating to get rid of those calories. This may look like vomiting or compulsive exercising or using laxatives or diuretics, pills that make them get rid of water in their body.
And the third classification is sort of a catch all phrase, doesn’t necessarily fit into the anorexia category or the bulimia, but this involves people that compulsively overeat and this doesn’t mean that every person who is overweight has an eating disorder, but there are people that binge and don’t have the compensatory or the other behaviors like a bulimic would have but they are aware of being out of control around taking in food, and then we put them into a category called ‘eating disorders not otherwise specified’ or EDNOS.