The Difference Between Disordered Eating vs Eating Disorder

Diagnosing an eating disorder such as bulimia or anorexia is fairly easy for most professionals. These disorders have very distinct characteristics that are easy for just about anyone to pick out. However, pinpointing disordered eating isn’t so easy. Let’s take a closer look at the difference between disordered eating vs eating disorder.
Disordered Eating vs Eating Disorder
According to reports, nearly 50 percent of the U.S. population has some form of disordered eating. With that said, only about 3 percent has a clinical eating disorder. This means that people with an eating disorder show signs of disordered eating. However, not everyone that show signs of disordered eating has a full-blown eating disorder.
Disordered eating refers to people who engage in or show abnormal eating patterns on a regular basis. Keep in mind that this term doesn’t apply to those who have food allergies or intolerances. It also doesn’t refer to people who can’t eat certain foods because of health problems.
People who struggle with disordered eating often show many of the same symptoms as those who have an eating disorder. However, they usually display these symptoms to a lesser degree.
Despite this fact, they have to take disordered eating seriously because it can quickly develop into an eating disorder. For that reason, finding eating disorder treatment is extremely important in either case.
How Does Disordered Eating Start?
Knowing the difference between disordered eating vs eating disorder is important. However, it’s just as important to know how disordered eating starts. It can begin in several ways.
One of the most common is an intense focus on weight loss. People who want to lose weight watch their calorie intake heavily. With that said, this intense focus is actually a distraction to take their attention off of uncomfortable emotions. People start to feel like reaching their goal weight will make them happy.
Until they deal with the actual problem, though, their weight loss distraction won’t help. Once they reach their goal weight, they make a lower goal. Then, they eventually develop an eating disorder.
Drug addiction can also lead to the development of disordered eating. Various drugs have different effects on how people eat. Some drugs make them eat more, while others reduce how much that they eat. These effects quickly lead to disordered eating and eventually eating disorder.
When dealing with addiction, people no longer need to focus only on disordered eating vs eating disorder. Instead, they have to focus on getting the addiction under control as well. Until they do that, they can never truly break free from disordered eating.
Let Us Help You Overcome Addiction Safely
Is a drug addiction causing you to eat unhealthily? At Steps to Recovery, we offer Pennsylvania addiction recovery services. We understand how drug addiction and eating disorders can occur together. Some of the drug addiction programs that we offer include:
12-step rehab
Dual diagnosis treatment
Intensive outpatient rehab
Partial hospitalization program
Gender-specific rehab
Basic life skills
Don’t let your disordered eating problem develop into a full-blown disorder. Find out more about disordered eating vs eating disorder and how it affects addiction. Call us today at 866-488-8684 to get help.
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