When it comes to eating disorders, there are probably two that immediately come to mind: Anorexia and bulimia. They’re the ones we see most on Very Special Episodes of our favorite TV shows, they’re the ones that experience the biggest crack downs when social media apps/sites censor their pro-ED communities, and they’re often thought of as the most severe eating disorders one can have. Hey, it’s important that we know as much as we can about them so we can know what to do if someone we know starts exhibiting symptoms. But believe it or not, they’re not the only eating disorders out there, not by a long shot.
Check out these eight eating disorders you didn’t know existed. Heads up, you’re witnessing these disorders on a daily basis–on your favorite YouTuber’s Snapchat stories, during your best friend’s birthday party–without even realizing it. Hell, you might have one of them yourself.
OrthorexiaIn this era of "clean eating" obsession, it's only natural for something like Orthorexia to crop up. Orthorexia is a fixation with healthy eating, with heavy emphasis on its purity and gooddness. People with this disorder might eliminate entire food groups from their diet (even if they're not inherently unhealthy), refuse to eat anything that isn't organic, and generally avoid anything that doesn't measure up to their level of food purity. Honestly, you probably see a lot of this in your life already, but it's so commonplace that nobody is really calling it out for encouraging dangerous attitudes towards food. People who have orthorexia aren't really motivated into action by believing that they're fat or wanting to lose a lot of weight; it's more about obsessing over controlling what enters the body. This isn't bad in theory, but in practice it can get out of control and lead to malnourishment. Skins
DrunkorexiaDrinking can be a high calorie activity, a fact which unsettles some heavy drinkers so much that they'd rather dangerously cut the amount of calories they get from food in the day so they can make up for it by drinking the night away...and getting drunk really easily. Doing this excessively can lead to drunkorexia; a silly name, sure, but it's a serious disorder. A University of Missouri study found that 30 percent of college women engage in "druknorexic" behavior, so be on the lookout for it. The O.C.
DiabulimiaThis is wild. Diabulimia is an eating disorder in which someone with diabetes purposefully deprives themselves of insulin--the very thing they need to keep their diabetes in check--in an attempt to lose weight. You see, diabetes is marked by an over production of glucose (blood sugar) in the bloodstream. When your body can't absorb that sugar into your cells, it relies on your fat for energy, which can lead to weight loss. Insulin is there to help absorb the extra blood sugar, but that also means it can lead to weight gain. So people with diabulimia deliberately deprive themselves of insulin to avoid that. Of course, long term this can lead to serious health complications and even death. iStock.com
Selective Eating DisorderThere's being a picky eater, and there's being a picky eater to the point in which you have an effing eating disorder. Selective eating disorder. Basically, what one can eat is limited to incredibly strict requirements based on taste, texture, color, temperature, etc. Even brand can be a factor. Suffers might eliminate entire food groups, restricting vital foods like fruits or vegetables as "unsafe." YouTube/Cherry Glazerr
Anorexia Athletica.There are, in fact, negative side effects to exercising too much. In fact, compulsive exercising has a name: Anorexia athletic (AKA hypergymnasia. Sufferers tend to overexercise to handle their fears of gaining weight and cut back on calories to a dangerous extent. Romy and Michele's High School Reunion
Binge Eating DisorderOf all of the disorders listed, you're probably most familiar with this one. Binge eating disorder is characterized by regular binge eating episodes--often triggered by psychological stressors--but don't have a purging period afterwards. Think of it roughly as bulimia without the vomiting. These binge eating sessions can go on until one is uncomfortably full and might even be planned in advance; you don't even have to be hungry. Feelings afterwards are that of guilt and depression. My Mad Fat Diary
PregorexiaA lot of pregnant people have massive appetites, which can lead to some serious weight gain. Unless, of course, you have pregorexia, which is marked by excessive dieting and exercising while pregnant. Unfortunately, it's not hard to see why this is a burgeoning eating disorder: The obsession with the post-baby body is likely a big part of the blame. Mad Men
PicaYou know how there was that kid you went to elementary school with who ate the weirdest stuff, and you thought it was just them being a weirdo. Hey, maybe you were that kid (and still are). Sure, some people might do it for laughs or one-time curiosity, but there's actually a name for the compulsion to eat things that you shouldn't: Pica. Pica is an eating disorder in which one eats things that are not generally thought of as food and lack nutritional value. That could mean anything from sand, to pencils, to toy cars, to ice cubes, etc. Needless to say, this is a compulsion that is really bad for you and can lead to intestinal issues and blockage. Plus, you might unknowingly consume chemicals you shouldn't. iStock.com
Which of these eating disorders do you think needs to have a lot more attention drawn to ti? Tell us in the comments!