Most people talk about the opioid epidemic, but overlook the disordered eating problems that people struggle with. Part of the reason why is that they don’t know much about this unhealthy relationship with food. Also, a lot of them question the difference between an eating disorder vs disordered eating. When you learn more about these issues, you better understand the importance of getting treatment.
The Relationship With Food
Normal or non-disordered eating habits involve eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full. You also add a variety of foods to your meals.
By this definition, you suffer from disordered eating if you eat the same foods every day or eat when you’re bored. You could also struggle with an eating problem if you avoid certain foods. The exception, however, is if you have a food sensitivity or allergy. If you do not have a food allergy or sensitivity, you may need to visit a disordered eating treatment center.
On the other hand, these abnormal habits indicate a problem when they interfere with your health and life. They could be the result of an obsession with exercise or weight loss as well. For instance, not finding foods that you’re comfortable with at a restaurant could prevent you from eating there. Not being willing to change or adapt your diet is also a problem.
What’s an Eating Disorder vs Disordered Eating?
It takes some time to understand the distinction between disordered eating and eating disorders. In general, all eating disorders consist of disordered eating patterns. However, disordered eating doesn’t involve the other extreme symptoms of eating disorders. It’s important to consider your behaviors, functionality, and obsessions in order to understand and tell the difference between an eating disorder vs disordered eating.
In most cases, an eating disorder starts with disordered eating. It involves regularly engaging in abnormal eating habits in order to cope with distressing emotions. If you struggle with disordered eating, you might distract yourself from a problem by focusing on losing weight. You likely feel anxious around food, track your calories, or avoid eating in social situations.
When you have an eating disorder vs disordered eating, your habits become extreme. For instance, when you meet a weight goal, you set a lower one even if you aren’t overweight. If you engage in emotional eating, then the extreme side would be binge eating disorder.
In addition, eating disorders involve other symptoms. Some examples include poor body image, mood swings, malnourishment, and secrecy. The level of obsession with your eating patterns is also severe and consumes your thoughts. As a result, you don’t function normally and even fear judgment from others while you eat.
Stop Disordered Eating Before It Gets Worse
Teens who show signs of disordered eating need treatment before the condition gets worse. Foothills at Red Oak Recovery is an adolescent treatment center NC provides. We offer many services to manage this problem before an eating disorder develops. Some of these services include:
- One-on-one counseling
- Art and music therapy
- Equine therapy
- Psychological testing
- Family counseling
Learn more about how to distinguish an eating disorder vs disordered eating. Get help for the troubled teen in your family before the problem damages his health. Call Foothills at Red Oak Recovery at 866.300.5275 for more information about our programs.