Just a brief guide on how to play a character with an eating disorder called Orthorexia Nervosa. This guide is based strictly off research and I can’t tell you whether or not it’s 100% accurate, given I don’t have it nor do I know anyone who does. But anyways, if you’re going to reblog this, please make sure to be considerate by tagging the post with a trigger warning.

Anyone with an unhealthy obsession with healthy, clean and/or pure eating may be suffering from an uncommon eating disorder called “orthorexia nervosa,” a term which literally means “fixation on righteous eating.” Orthorexia starts out as an innocent attempt to eat more healthy, clean foods, but orthorexics (the sufferers of this disorder) become fixated on food quality and purity. They become obsessed with what and how much they eat, and how to deal with their “slip-ups.” An iron-clad will is needed to maintain this rigid eating style. Self-esteem usually becomes wrapped up in the purity of an orthorexics’ diet and they sometimes feel superior to others, especially in regard to food intake.

Eventually food choices become so restrictive, in both variety and calories, that their health declindes – an ironic twist for a person so completely dedicated to healthy eating. Eventually, the obsession with healthy eating can crowd out other activities and interests, impair relationships, and become physically dangerous.

SYMPTOMS / SIGNS OF AN ORTHOREXIC:

Orthorexics generally avoid numerous foods, including those made with:

What are the Effects of Orthorexia?

Orthorexia symptoms are serious, chronic, and go beyond a lifestyle choice. Obsession with healthy food can progress to the point where it crowds out other activities and interests, impairs relationships, and even becomes physically dangerous. When this happens, orthorexia takes on the dimensions of a true eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. One effect of this drive to eat only the right foods (and perhaps only in the right ways) is that it can give a person with orthorexia a sense of superiority to others. This can put a strain on relationships with family and friends, as relationships become less important than holding to dietary patterns.

Maintaining an obsession with health food may cause a restriction of calories merely because available food isn’t considered to be good enough. The person with orthorexia may lose enough weight to give her a body mass index consistent with someone with anorexia (i.e., less than 18.5). If the dietary restrictions are too severe, malnutrition can result. In rare cases, particularly in the case of women with unaddressed co-occurring disorders or another addiction, orthorexia may result in severe malnutrition and weight loss, which can cause cardiac complications or even death.

How are Anorexia Nervosa and Orthorexia Similar?

Orthorexia is a term with varying levels of acceptance in the eating disorder treatment community. Some eating disorder specialists regard orthorexia as a discrete diagnosis like anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. Others, however, believe that patients with orthorexia symptoms are actually suffering from anorexia. Sufferers of orthorexia and anorexia may show similarities such as:

How are Orthorexia and Anorexia Nervosa Different?

Obsession with weight is one of the primary signs of anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders, but is not a symptom of orthorexia. Instead, the object of the orthorexic’s obsession is with the health implications of their dietary choices. While a person with anorexia restricts food intake in order to lose weight, a person with orthorexia wants to feel pure, healthy and natural. The focus is on quality of foods consumed rather than quantity.

Signs and symptoms of eating disorders must be evaluated in the context of a person’s feelings, emotions, and self esteem. It’s crucial to seek appropriate clinical advice from a professional with experience treating orthorexia, anorexia and other psychiatric conditions. The obsessive tendencies associated with orthorexia can indicate a co-occurring disorder that should be diagnosed and treated by a psychiatrist.

Other kinds of "uncommon" unofficial Eating Disorders --




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