What is an Eating Disorder?

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How do I know if I have an Eating Disorder?

Eating disorders are scary. Of all mental health issues a person can struggle with eating disorders have the highest mortality rate. How do you know if you have an eating disorder?

The Eating Attitudes Test (EAT) ask 26 quick questions that if answered Yes may mean that you struggle with an eating disorder.

Eating Attitudes Test

  1. I am terrified about being overweight.
  2. I avoid eating when I am hungry.
  3. I find myself preoccupied with food.
  4. I have gone on eating binges where I feel that I may not be able to stop.
  5. I cut my food into small pieces.
  6. I am aware of the calorie content of foods that I eat.
  7. I particularly avoid food with a high carbohydrate content (i.e. bread, rice, potatoes, etc.)
  8. I feel that others would prefer if I ate more.
  9. I vomit after I have eaten.
  10. I feel extremely guilty after eating.
  11. I am preoccupied with a desire to be thinner.
  12. I think about burning up calories when I exercise.
  13. Other people think that I am too thin.
  14. I am preoccupied with the thought of having fat on my body.
  15. I take longer than others to eat my meals.
  16. I avoid foods with sugar in them.
  17. I eat diet foods.
  18. I feel that food controls my life.
  19. I display self-control around food.
  20. I feel that others pressure me to eat.
  21. I give too much time and thought to food.
  22. I feel uncomfortable after eating sweets.
  23. I engage in dieting behavior.
  24. I like my stomach to be empty.
  25. I have the impulse to vomit after meals.
  26. I enjoy trying rich new foods.

The EAT quiz was developed by D.M. Garner, M.P. Olmsted, Y. Bohr, and P.E. Garfinkel.

Eating disorders are not about food.

In much the same way that individuals use drugs, alcohol, sex, and gambling in inappropriate ways to mask or hide emotional discomfort, so it can be with food. However, while alcohol and illegal drugs can be completely avoided, food is a necessary part of our everyday lives.Eating disorders are not about food. In much the same way that individuals use drugs, alcohol, sex, and gambling in inappropriate ways to mask or hide emotional discomfort, so it can be with food. However, while alcohol and illegal drugs can be completely avoided, food is a necessary part of our everyday lives.

Eating Disorders can result in unpleasant and even life-threatening health problems. They frequently cause negative social issues relating to friends, family, and coworkers. Eating Disorders tend to have a spiraling effect; meaning that continued practice of the disorder causes more guilt, more social withdrawal, and increased feelings of inadequacy or low self-esteem.
The bottom line is that an Eating Disorder occurs when food is used as an unhealthy coping mechanism for dealing with difficult life issues and emotions.

Normal Eating. Sounds simple enough…right?

If only it were as simple as it sounds. Eating disorders are tricky and persistent. They are tough to beat, but life long recovery is possible. With the right help you can gain insight into the powerful motivators that make your struggle with food seem so overwhelming and hopeless.

Eating Disorders are tough to beat, but life long recovery is possible.

You can:

  • Control your eating instead of being controlled by eating or not eating.
  • Identify and deal with the hard emotions.
  • Come to peace with your body, learn to be real and “comfortable in your own skin.”
  • Find healthy balance instead of swinging extremes.
  • Understand yourself, your emotions, and your behavior.

Eating disorder freedom is real and it’s attainable. It’s up to you whether you experience it or not. 

Take the first step towards a better tomorrow, today.

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Binge Eating Disorder