Eating disorders are serious & complex mental illnesses; they are not a lifestyle choice or a diet gone ‘too far.’
Eating disorders occur in both men and women, young and old, rich and poor, and from all cultural backgrounds. About one in 20 Australians has an eating disorder and the rate in the Australian population is increasing.
There are three eating disorders that are recognised by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which are Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). There is a fourth eating disorder which is also recognised by professionals and will be included in the next revision of the DSM, Binge Eating Disorder.
Eating disorders are associated with significant physical complications and increased mortality. The mortality rate for people with eating disorders is the highest of all psychiatric illnesses, and over 12 times higher than that for people without eating disorders.
Eating disorders are serious, potentially life threatening mental and physical illnesses, however with appropriate treatment recovery IS possible.
For the latest information on eating disorders, check out the National Eating Disorders Collaboration.