Recently, in a comment, I was asked about different types of eating disorders. Eating disorders are not well understood by the treatment community, and in the lay community, the level of misunderstanding is even greater.
In my opinion, part of the problem is the name. Because the disease is called an “eating” disorder, people think it is primarily about eating and food. Further, the DSM-IV, the primary tool for diagnosis and insurance definitions, doesn’t consider an eating disorder to be a diagnosis until the person is so sick that they are displaying severe physical and behavioral symptoms. In my opinion, that is like diagnosing breast cancer when the cancer has so deformed the breasts that they are no longer recognizable and there is a very high probability the cancer has metastasized. At that point, chances of recovery are unlikely, and treatment is largely ineffective. But this is only my opinion, as a sufferer of an eating disorder and a mechanical engineer.
However, if you are wondering if you have an eating disorder, here are some sites that offer definitions.
EATING DISORDERS at the Office of Women’s Health
Eating Disorders in Figure Skaters and others
Eating Attitude Test
Something Fishy (My therapist’s favorite ED site)
How is an eating disordered person different from a non-eating disordered person? This was good.
Some of the tools that I use to treat my eating disorder.