Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa both involve significant perceptual distortions in body image and weight that lead to obsessive preoccupation with food, exercise, and body image.
Some characteristics of anorexia are not eating, a refusal to maintain minimally normal weight, an intense fear of gaining weight, and denial of the dangers of low body weight.
Some characteristics of bulimia are recurrent binge eating followed by inappropriate behaviors to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting; misuse of laxatives, diuretics, and enemas; fasting; and/or exercise.
Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse often coincide with eating disorders.
Symptoms associated with eating disorders include:
Treatment of eating disorders usually combines medical procedures with counseling. In extreme cases, a student may need to leave campus and enter intense, inpatient treatment.