Dale A. Baker, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist - La Jolla
California Psychology License # PSY 9693
7946 Ivanhoe Avenue, Suite 201, La Jolla, California 92037
Couples - Individuals - Families
Eating disorders are characterized by severe disturbances in eating behaviors. Anorexia Nervosa involves a refusal to maintain a minimally normal body weight. Bulimia Nervosa is noted for repeated episodes of binge eating followed by behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, fasting, excessive exercise, or misuse of laxatives, diuretics or other medications. A disturbance in one’s perception of body shape and weight is a feature of both disorders. Simple obesity is generally classified as a medical condition and not an eating disorder.
Individuals with anorexia intensely fear gaining weight or becoming fat. Concerns about weight gain often increase even as actual weight continues to decrease. Some individuals feel globally overweight, while others realize they are thin but are still concerned that their abdomen, buttocks and thighs are “too fat”. Weight loss is viewed as a sign of self-discipline. This disorder most commonly begins in females between ages 14-18 years.
Those with bulimia are typically ashamed of their eating problems and attempt to conceal their symptoms. Binge eating usually occurs in secrecy or inconspicuously. There is frequency low self-esteem and depressed mood. Loss of teeth enamel, menstrual irregularity and electrolyte disturbances may be associated with bulimia.