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Signs & Symptoms of Atypical Eating Disorder

Do I have a problem with atypical eating disorder?

atypical eating disorderAtypical eating disorder, or disordered eating, refers to behaviour or eating patterns that are characteristic of some or all eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and compulsive overeating. For example, an individual may purge (rid themselves of food and therefore calories they have consumed) through vomiting or using laxatives, however, unlike a bulimic, he / she does not binge eat.

A person with atypical eating disorder may not experience these behaviours as frequently or severely as individuals whose eating patterns meet the diagnostic criteria for particular eating disorders. This can make it difficult to identify and diagnose atypical eating disorders.

If you are ready to start your recovery, Life Works can help. You can call our atypical eating disorder treatment professionals at 0800 081 0700 or fill out our contact form.

Signs and Symptoms of Atypical Eating Disorders

  • Your eating patterns may fit some but not all the criteria of a particular eating disorder – for example, your behaviour may be characteristic of anorexia but you are still menstruating.
  • You may be able to relate to a number of behaviours that are each characteristic of different eating disorders - for example, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and compulsive overeating. [link these ED words to the relevant Do You Have A Problem pages]
  • You have binged (overeaten in a short time) or restricted your food intake (cut out certain foods or avoided eating altogether) to try and control your weight.
  • You may have had periods of being underweight and overweight, or you may have ‘yo-yo’ dieted, where you lost weight and then put it on again later – and you often repeat this cycle.
  • You are doing less of the things that were important to you, for example, seeing friends or family, going out or enjoying hobbies.
  • You have missed family birthdays or meeting up with friends so you could avoid food or having to eat in front of others, or so that you could be alone and eat what you wanted, away from other people.
  • Are there aspects of your physical appearance that you really dislike?
  • Do you focus more on what you dislike about your physical appearance than on what you like?
  • Do negative thoughts about your body keep repeating in your head?
  • Do you avoid certain social situations or activities because of how you feel about your body?
  • Do your thoughts and feelings about how you look affect how you feel about yourself?

For more information on atypical eating disorders, call Life Works at 0800 081 0700 or fill out our contact form.

Symptomatic Denial

Denial is common and symptomatic of atypical eating disorders, so you may deny that you have a problem both to yourself and to others, through:

  • Minimising the impact of your disordered eating on your health.
  • Criticising those around you for making too much fuss about your eating habits.
  • Concealing your disordered eating from your loved ones
  • Placing the blame for your disordered eating on other people or situations in your life, such as “I restrict my eating because my job stresses me out”.

Get Help

At Life Works, we understand that an eating disorder can feel like a cage. But you do not have to feel trapped. Our doctors nurses and counsellors can help you see that an eating disorder is not a life sentence and it is possible to recover.

If you are ready to take your first step toward a life free of eating disorders, call Life Works at 0800 081 0700 or fill out our contact form.

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