It is important to seek professional help when you begin to notice that your relationship with food and/or disordered eating habits are affecting your life, your mood, and your ability to function on a daily level. Seeking treatment can be an overwhelming experience and sometimes this information can be very difficult to share with someone, but is important that you find help. Eating disorders are a serious mental health condition and it can be both physically and emotionally destructive and if not treated, it can even be life threatening.  This is why professional help is always recommended. 

An eating disorder is a very complex illness with the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric disorders.  Based on current research, we know that there is some genetic predisposition to this illness.  Psychological factors, family dynamics, environment, genetics, temperament, etc., can also play a role in the development of this illness.  Full recovery is possible.  Eating disorders do not discriminate and can affect anyone regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, education, and religion. 

The Eating Disorder Network of Central Florida is a group of professionals in the Greater Orlando community with expertise in treating: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, Binge Eating Disorder, Diabulimia, Drunkorexia, Orthorexia, Manorexia, Pregorexia, and eating disorders specific to the pediatric population. 

Anorexia Nervosa is a disorder in which preoccupation with dieting and thinness leads to refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height.  The individual has an intense fear of gaining weight, distorted body image, and patterns of restrictive eating.

Bulimia Nervosa is a disorder characterized by frequent episodes of binge eating usually followed by purging or feelings of guilt and shame.  The individual feels a sense of lack of control over eating during the binge episode.  Purging is utilized to avoid potential weight gain and can occur in various forms, including but not limited to self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diet pills, diuretics, enemas, medications, etc., as well as the use of excessive exercise or fasting.  Body image distortion is also a characteristic of Bulimia Nervosa.

Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) is a diagnostic category reserved for individuals who do not meet the full diagnostic criteria for Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa.  Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is currently reserved for this diagnostic category.  EDNOS is the largest diagnostic category.  Individuals with other forms of disordered eating including but not limited to night eating syndrome, chewing and spitting, compulsive exercising, and pica would meet the diagnosis of EDNOS. 

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) will soon claim its own diagnostic category in the newest diagnostic manual set for release in 2013.  Individuals with BED experience episodes of uncontrollable eating that leads to feelings of depression, loss of self-worth, guilt, and shame.  Purging is absent in this diagnostic category. 

Diabulimia is a media-coined term used to describe an individual with Type I Diabetes who decreases or misses insulin doses in order to lose weight.  This practice can be dangerous and deadly due to the comorbid medical issue. 

Drunkorexia is also not an official diagnostic category but is a termed used to describe individuals who restrict calories in order to offset calories consumed through alcohol use.  Bulimics have a tendency to use alcohol to justify a purge. 

Orthorexia, an unofficial diagnostic term, is used to describe an individual obsessed with wanting to eat “healthy.”  The obsession with eating raw and organic foods becomes a major characteristic of this diagnosis.  Over time, an orthorexic may avoid foods that contain animal products, fat, sugar, preservatives. 

Manorexia is used to describe males with eating disorders.  Eating disorders in men is on the rise. 

Pregorexia is a term that refers to women who continue their eating disorder or disordered eating during pregnancy.  These women, by engaging in these behaviors, refute the recommended weight gain of 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. 

Eating disorders specific to the pediatric population include but are not limited to: Food Refusal Syndrome, Food Avoidance Emotional Disorder, Selective Eating/Extreme Fad Dieting, and Restrictive Eating. 

For a list of eating disorder professionals, please visit our member list.