Eating disorders are not severe diets ;they are illnesses with severe health risks. There are three different types of eating disorders that include, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating. Each of these has very different qualities of poor health and very unusual habits. Denial is one of the main elements in these illnesses. It is hard for an individual to differentiate between healthy weight loss and an out of control problem. Friends and family members should watch for warning signs and seek help if the symptoms persist. First, the most popular of all the eating disorders is Anorexia. Anorexia Nervosa, the technical term, is defined as a significant weight loss from excessive dieting. In basic terms a person with anorexia nervosa starves themselves. It involves extreme weight loss of at least fifteen percent below a person’s body weight. A person with Anorexia Nervosa fears becoming overweight, when in reality they may be just skin and bones. (www.psychcentral.com/disorders/) Secondly, the next common eating disorder is Bulimia. Identified as, Bulimia Nervosa, it is a cycle of binge eating followed by purging to try and rid the body of unwanted calories. Other forms of Bulimia include abusing laxatives of diuretics, taking enemas, or exercising obsessively. There are two subtypes of Bulimia Nervosa. The first is the purging type, when a person regularly engages in self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas. The second is the non-purging type, when a person fasts or excessively exercise, but has not regularly engaged in self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas. (www.psychcentral.com/disorders) Lastly, Binge Eating is the most unnoticed disease of the three. Binge Eating is an uncontrollable eating that results in consequent weight gain. Behaviors of Binge Eating include eating more rapidly than usual, eating until uncomfortably full, even if the individual is not hungry. Most people suffering from binge eating eat alone because they feel embarrassed of the quantity of food they eat. This is why Binge Eating is sometimes overlooked because individuals hide and eat away from others. (www.psychcentral.com/disorders/) Dr. John Grohol, an affiliate with the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, states that the main targets of Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa are teenagers. He also states that binge eaters include mainly obese women, or other individuals that are obese. (www.psychcentral.com/disorders/) “The problems of obesity and the tendency to become overweight is much greater in women than in men, because the pressure to be thin and stay thin is far greater on young women. It seems as though most people in our culture feel that a person can never be too thin.” ;This was quoted from Dr. Michael Myers, MD., a practicing physician, member of NAASO (North American Association for the Study of Obesity). (http://www.weight.com/eating.html) In society today America culture centers around the ideals of being thin and beautiful. Beginning symptoms of all the disorders include low self-esteem, denial, a feeling of no control over their life, and a distorted body image. The individual may have no perception of hunger, their menstrual cycle stops, and there is an increased growth of facial hair. Bulimia nervosa may have the same symptoms as anorexia nervosa, but the individual may have a drug and alcohol abuse problem, always has a chronic sore throat, mood swings, and suicidal tendencies or exempts themselves. Social isolation, lying, persistent remorse, heart disease risk, and drug and alcohol abuse all may make up the crucial symptoms of binge eating. Each person who develops an eating disorder does not show all of these signs, but may show some because each eating disorder is unique. (www.eatingdisorders.about.com) Jane Rachel Kaplan, Ph.D., M.P.H. is a psychologist and she has developed and directed a weight management program for Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley, California. She has come up with a great way to lead a patient with an eating disorder to recovery. She proclaims that there are five stages of recovery in curing these eating disorder diseases. Stage one is the pre-recovery stage. Eating disorders are actions used to express yourself rather than words. In stage one these feelings of self-hate are pushed away, by therapy of recognizing the problem. In stage two there is a heightened awareness of the eating disorder and leads to great shame about it. A desire not to use food to deal with expression now begins. In stage three payoffs begin to arrive. The patient learns new behaviors and this makes life easier. The patient also has pride in having more control over food. In the fourth stage, the patient is transitioning from a bad person that has an eating disorder to a therapy patient in recovery. Feelings of low self-esteem are replaced with feelings of having worth. The fifth stage concentrates friendship and dating therapy. This stage is used because the patient has a great bond with their therapist and does not know how to react to other humans. This stage teaches the patient how to interact with others. These recovery steps do not fit every on, but they can at least help.(www.optimaleating.com/article.html) Eating Disorders are diseases that can take over a human. Many distraught people resort to grasping the horrible habits that can have risky effects on their bodies, so that they think they have the perfect body. There are cures for this condition and it is good to catch a disorder at an early stage so that recovery can go smoothly. The recovery is long and tedious, but it worth the wait to obtain good health.