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Eating Disorders

Individuals may develop eating disorders as a way of dealing with the conflicts, pressures and stresses of their lives. Eating disorders are often a vehicle to express control when the rest of your life seems out of control. Some people are more prone to be at risk than others because of genetics, heredity, family dynamics or temperament.

Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. Both men and women struggle with body image; eating disorders also do not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or any other differentiating factors. Someone struggling with an ED may be under, over and even average weight.

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Interactive Quizzes

Please note:  Regardless of what these or other quizzes may tell you, if you are concerned about yourself or someone else, do not hesitate to contact the Counseling Center.

Warning Signs That You or Someone You Care About Is Struggling

Please note: These lists are not all-inclusive, and you do not have to display all of the symptoms listed to be struggling with an eating disorder.


Anorexia Nervosa

This is a disorder characterized by severe food restrictions and self-imposed starvation. Characteristics of someone struggling with this may include:

  • Are thin and keep getting thinner, losing 15% or more of your ideal body weight. 
  • Continue to diet or restrict foods even though you are not overweight. 
  • Have a distorted body image—feel fat even when you are thin. 
  • Are preoccupied with food, calories, nutrition or cooking. 
  • Deny that you are hungry. 
  • Exercise obsessively. 
  • Weigh yourself frequently. 
  • Complain about feeling bloated or nauseated even when you eat average—or less than average—amounts of food. 
  • Lose your hair or begin to experience thinning hair. 
  • Feel cold even though the temperature is normal or only slightly cool. 
  • Stop menstruating.

Bulimia Nervosa

Warnings signs of bulimia may include:

  • Engage in binge eating and cannot voluntarily stop. 
  • Use the bathroom frequently after meals. 
  • React to emotional stress by overeating. 
  • Have menstrual irregularities. 
  • Have swollen glands. 
  • Experience frequent fluctuations in weight. 
  • Cannot voluntarily stop eating. 
  • Are obsessively concerned about weight. 
  • Attempt to adhere to diets, but generally fail. 
  • Feel guilty or ashamed about eating. 
  • Feel out of control. 
  • Have depressive moods or mood swings.

Binge Eating Disorder

Warning signs of binge eating disorder are:

  • Eat large amounts of food when not physically hungry. 
  • Eat much more rapidly than normal. 
  • Eat until the point of feeling uncomfortably full. 
  • Often eat alone because of shame or embarrassment. 
  • Have feelings of depression, disgust or guilt after eating. 
  • Have a history of marked weight fluctuations.