The Most Common Eating Disorder Is One You've Probably Never Heard Of
Some consider OSFED a less serious version of "real" eating disorders, but it can be just as deadly to those who suffer from it.
There is an eating disorder called OSFED that is actually more common than anorexia and bulimia.
Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder are diagnosed under a list of symptoms that can leave many people out.
But when it comes to understanding OSFED, it might be helpful to think of eating disorders falling on a continuum.
The chart below demonstrates how many factors can be at play in individual cases.
People with OSFED often think their eating disorder isn't "real," so they're less likely to seek treatment.
Suffering from OSFED in silence is dangerous — it can be just as fatal as clinical eating disorders.
If you think you may have an eating disorder, here are some symptoms to look out for:
Though figuring out of if you have an eating disorder can feel overwhelming, Thomas suggests that you start by asking yourself the questions below. The more "yes" answers you gave, the more likely it is that your relationship with food and body image are problematic.
• Are you underweight, or does your weight frequently shift due to repeated attempts to drop pounds?
• Do you regularly restrict your food intake by amount or variety?
• Do you eat large amounts of food while feeling out of control?
• Do you try to "make up for" calories consumed (e.g., vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, exercise, fasting)?
• Does negative body image interfere with living your life to the fullest?
There are many resources for identifying and understanding your relationship with body image, food, and exercise.
Visit Almost Anorexic for a free and confidential screening.
Take the Compulsive Exercise Test to screen for dangerous thoughts habits.
You can download the Recovery Record app to keep track of harmful thoughts and feelings about food.
For more information on diagnosis and treatment, visit The Renfrew Center or dial 1-800-RENFREW.