5 Question Eating Disorder Screen

Eating Disorder TestQuick Eating Disorder Screen

  1. Do you make yourself sick because you feel uncomfortably full?
  2. Do you worry you have lost control over how much you eat?
  3. Have you recently lost more than 15 pounds in a three-month period?
  4. Do you believe yourself to be fat when others say you are too thin?
  5. Would you say that food dominates your life?

Any person answering “yes” to two or more of these five questions is quite likely to have an eating disorder, even if he or she is currently at a “normal” weight range.

What causes Eating Disorders?

BODY IMAGE HELP SPRINGFIELD MOThere is no single cause for any eating disorder. All eating disorders are a perfect storm of complex variables. There is, however, a constant pressure to achieve unrealistic and unhealthy body conditions brought on by the media and pop culture. This pressure adds to the other factors that may influence disordered eating. Here are a few other influencers:

  • Dieting

While dieting may seem harmless, statistics show that girls who diet before the age of 14 are eight times more likely to develop an Eating Disorder. Dieting disrupts normal eating patterns and can start a cycle of unhealthy eating. 50% of adolescent females report dieting before the age of 14.

  • Media Influence

The current message from movies, television, billboards, popular music, and magazines is that thin is “in”, regardless of the cost. Media images equate thinness with beauty, peer acceptance, success, self-esteem, morality, and health.

  • Peer Pressure

In an attempt to fit in, individuals may feel they need to change their physical appearance, even to the extent of significant weight loss. Within peer groups, dieting or other Eating Disorder specific behaviosr can become competitive.

  • Trauma

Trauma can occur in one significant event or repeatedly over a period of years. Sexual abuse, rape, the death of a loved one, divorce, changing schools, or moving are all serious life events that could trigger an Eating Disorder.

  • Performance

High performers in athletics are academics often believe their worth is found in what they do and how they perform. Image can be very important and fuel an Eating Disorder.

  • Athletic Achievement

Certain competitive sports may lead to the development of an Eating Disorder. For example:

  • Gymnastics or dance participation may be dependent on a certain body type or “look”.
  • Sports like cross-country may be a convenient outlet for an individual to over-exercise in an “acceptable” fashion.
  • Wrestling often mandates “making weight” in order to wrestle at a certain weight-class.
  • Life Transitions

Times of transition can lead to emotional stress. Puberty is one of those transitions; another often occurs at ages 18-20. Fear of physical development, which naturally brings curves to the female body, can lead to extreme dieting.

Stages of Eating Disorders

EATING DISORDER HELP SPRINGFIELD MOEating disorders follow a predictable course from mild and appearing to be “healthy” to death. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental health concerns. Even when eating disorders don’t result in fatalities the damage they do to the body is often irreversible.

  • Early Stage – In the early stage of an eating disorder a person is developing a negative body image; is dissatisfied with their appearance; is beginning to feel shame and disgust about themselves. At this stage a person is at high risk of developing a full blown eating disorder and may already be experimenting with restricting, purging, or binging behaviors. This is the best time to intervene and get help; especially for adolescents and pre-adolescent children.
  • Mid Stage – In the mid-stage a person is actively and regularly restricting, purging, binging, and/or excessively exercising. They have begun to experience a considerable change in body weight and may or may not be at a healthy weight range. At this point one is usually not aware of or is in denial of the negative affect their behaviors are having on their body.
  • Late Stage – Those struggling in the late stages of an eating disorder are at serious health risks, possibly even death. At especially high risk are type 1 diabetics who may be manipulating their insulin to control their weight. At this stage medical treatment is critical and inpatient/ residential treatment may be necessary. The Relationship Center coordinates services with Remuda Ranch, the premier Christian eating disorder inpatient treatment center in the world, and other treatment programs, to get pateints the urgent help they need. We also continue care following release from an inpatient program, to ensure successful long-term recovery.

Eating Disorders and Negative Body Image

EATING DISORDER TREATMENT SPRINGFIELD MOEating disorders and negative body image affect thousands of men and women as children and adults. It’s a myth that only girls who are on the verge of starving to death struggle with an eating disorder or body image problems.

The truth is many normal people suffer from painful dissatisfaction with their bodies and the way others perceive them. The media and popular culture have established an unhealthy and unrealistic definition for beauty that is deeply wounding and alienating.

Types of Body Image and Eating Disorder Problems

  • Negative Body Image – a persistent critical appraisal of ones body and the habitual comparing of one’s self to others. Feelings of contempt, shame, dissatisfaction, and/or disgust with one’s body.
  • Binge Eating – compulsive over-eating, eating to sooth negative emotions, or rapidly consuming thousands of calories in a short time, without purging.
  • Anorexia – starving one’s self or restricting calorie intake out of fear of becoming fat. Often includes over-exercising.
  • Bulimia – a destructive pattern of binging on food followed by “purging” of calories through over-exercising, vomiting, or the use of laxatives.
  • Emotional Eating – Eating to soothe emotions such as anger, fear, anxiety, loneliness, and depression; without purging.
  • Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) – Characterized by having some, but not all, of the symptoms of anorexia or bulimia.


Often eating disorders begin with negative body image. Strong dissatisfaction with ones body or life then causes a person to begin either eating excessively, severely restricting calories, or cycling from eating in excess to taking extreme measures to rid oneself of calories. It can start as just “wanting to lose a few pounds” or “wanting to be more healthy” but soon it becomes an unhealthy obsession. Food becomes the enemy; the battle for control is intense and consuming.

What is an Eating Disorder?


Eating disorders are not about food. In much the same way that individuals use drugs, alcohol, sex, and gambling in inappropriate ways to mask or hide emotional discomfort, so it can be with food. However, while alcohol and illegal drugs can be completely avoided, food is a necessary part of our everyday lives.

Eating Disorders can result in unpleasant and even life-threatening health problems. They frequently cause negative social issues relating to friends, family, and coworkers. Eating Disorders tend to have a spiraling effect; meaning that continued practice of the disorder causes more guilt, more social withdrawal, and increased feelings of inadequacy or low self-esteem.

The bottom line is that an Eating Disorder occurs when food is used as an unhealthy coping mechanism for dealing with difficult life issues and emotions.


Normal Eating. Sounds simple enough…right?

If only it were as simple as it sounds. Eating disorders are tricky and persistent. They are tough to beat, but life long recovery is possible. With the right help you can gain insight into the powerful motivators that make your struggle with food seem so overwhelming and hopeless.

Eating Disorders are tough to beat, but life long recovery is possible.

The eating disorder experts at The Relationship Center know how to help you succeed. We can help you:

  • Control your eating instead of being controlled by eating or not eating.
  • Identify and deal with the hard emotions.
  • Come to peace with your body, learn to be real and “comfortable in your own skin.”
  • Find healthy balance instead of swinging extremes.
  • Understand yourself, your emotions, and your behavior.

Eating disorder freedom is real and it’s attainable. It’s up to you whether you experience it or not. Let us provide you with the tools, know-how, and support to make it happen for you.

Healing, Hope and a Future without an eating disorder are really out there for you to find. Call us today.