Why Eating Disorders are Classified as Mental Illnesses – Academy for Eating Disorders
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“In summary, eating disorders are biologically-based, serious mental illnesses because:
• There is medical and scientific evidence that anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are as heritable as other psychiatric conditions (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression) that are considered biologically based.
• The behaviors of restricting food intake, bingeing and purging have been shown to alter brain structure, metabolism and neurochemistry in ways that make it difficult for individuals to discontinue the behaviors.
• Eating disorders are associated with impairment in emotional and cognitive functioning that greatly limits life activities.
• Eating disorders are life-threatening illnesses and are associated with numerous medical complications. Mortality rates for anorexia nervosa are the highest of any psychiatric disorder.”
Position statement from the Academy of Eating Disorders that describes why it eating disorders are considered a “serious” mental illness, as well as the impact of insurers and others in the healthcare industry not classifying it as such.
- Position Statement: Eating Disorders are Serious Mental Illnesses
- Academy for Eating Disorders
- No date.
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- Prevalence of Eating Disorders in Children – NIH.gov
- Statistics for Eating Disorders Including Bulimia Nervosa, Anorexia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder (BED), Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED), and Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder – ANAD.org
- Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Treatments of Eating Disorders – NIH.gov
- Effect of Social Media on Body Image (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) – Journal of Eating Disorders