Eating Disorder Treatment & Dangerous Eating Disorder Labels

Eating Disorder Treatment & Dangerous Eating Disorder Labels

Hi everybody, Shan Larter here. Thanks for joining me on my video today about
the truth behind eating disorder labels. If you were to walk down the street and randomly
pick someone, anyone, and ask them “What is an eating disorder” they would for sure
have an answer for you. And that is because no matter whether it is
anorexia, bulimia, emotional eating… you name the ‘label’ and we all have a socially
held belief or understanding about what a person who has an eating disorder, or specifically
THAT eating disorder would: look like, behave like, how they would think, and maybe even
what they need to do to stop. So are those socially held beliefs correct?
Is that mental image that we hold of an eating disorder… real? Do YOU have one, which one
is it, and how does that information help you? Okay, so the first one we are going to look
at is Anorexia. The first thing that a doctor is looking for
is are you at least 15% below the normal body weight for your age and height? Do you have
an intense fear of gaining weight and becoming fat (even though you are underweight)? Are
you needing to gain control? Are you feeling out of control and looking for a way to make
up for this lack of LIFE control by exacting control over your food? Do you have negative
body image issues? Obsession over judging how your body looks? And are you in denial
over the dangers of your low body weight? And finally have you been without a period,
so no menstruation, for at least 3 continuous months. Physical symptoms of Anorexia include starvation,
dehydration, muscle deterioration, osteoporosis, irregular heartbeat, slow heartbeat and heart
failure. Behavioral signs and symptoms include going to extreme lengths to avoid eating,
lying about having eaten, making excuses to avoid family gatherings or social functions
involving food, being withdrawn and isolated, attempting to cover up your weight loss, and
having erratic behavior and extreme mood swings. Okay so now that we have taken a look at the
diagnosis criteria for Anorexia, lets take a look at another well known eating disorder,
Bulimia. A diagnosis of Bulimia from a medical professional
usually involves the following. They are looking for recurring episodes of binge eating, and
by binge eating they mean within any two-hour period or less, you have eaten an amount of
food larger than most people would eat during a similar period under similar circumstances.
You would sense a lack of control over eating. You can’t stop how much you are eating,
you can’t control THAT you’re eating, and of course the telltale of bulimia would
be the recurring purging. That can be through vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, enemas, fasting
or excessive exercise. Binge eating would need to occur at least two times per week
for a minimum of three consecutive months before you would be diagnosed with Bulimia. Physical symptoms of Bulimia include tooth
decay, dehydration, stomach ulcers, esophagus ruptures and inflammation, irregular or slow
heartbeat, and heart failure. The behavioral signs and symptoms include frequent bathroom
trips (especially after eating), avoiding eating because of the fear of weight gain
and also to avoid having to purge after eating. Extreme weight fluctuations, erratic behavior,
mood swings. And a caveat to this is that MOST Bulimics are NOT underweight, so the
disorder CAN go unnoticed for much longer than anorexia. So there you have the clinical
diagnosis for Bulimia. So maybe you’re thinking to yourself “Oh
Anorexia sounds more like what I do than Bulimia” or the opposite, maybe you’re really thinking
that Bulimia sounds more like your label, but hang on a second there are more to come.
So lets get to the next eating disorder label: Binge Eating. In order to be diagnosed with Binge Eating
Disorder you would have a lack of control and consumption of abnormally large amounts
of food, and you would need to do at least three of the following: eating rapidly, eating
until you are uncomfortably full, eating large amounts when you are not hungry, eating alone
out of embarrassment, feeling disgusted, depressed or guilty after eating. Then along with that
you would feel distress about your binge eating, you would binge at least two times per week
for a minimum of six months in order to be diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder. And
again binge eaters do not purge or restrict to make up for their binging. The behavioral signs and symptoms for binge
eating disorder are feelings of guilt, disgust and depression follows a binge, and also like
Bulimics, Binge Disorder Eaters continue to eat way past the feelings of being full. So now lets contrast Binge Eating Disorder
with Compulsive Eating Disorder. Compulsive Overeating Disorder is when a person
eats large amounts of food but instead of eating it all in one sitting, Compulsive Eaters
usually have all day grazing rituals and continue to eat and eat even when they are not hungry.
Eating usually is accompanied by joy and relief as it helps to fill a void inside of them.
They usually obsess about food constantly, planning their day around what, when and where
they are going to eat. Binge Eaters and Compulsive Overeaters DO
SHARE identical physical signs and symptoms of weight gain (often leading to obesity),
high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney failure, osteoarthritis, diabetes, stroke,
complications during pregnancy, gallbladder disease, irregular menstrual cycles and skin
disorders. The behavioral signs and symptoms are also
the same and include eating in secret, eating alone, often at night, and many hoard their
food in their bedrooms or other hidden places throughout the house. Confused? So am I and I have researched this
to death. It seems like so many of the behavioral symptoms and diagnosis criteria overlap each
other, there is way more grey area than there is black and white, and the medical community
has now created a ‘catch all’ to preserve their credibility with a new diagnosis: Eating
Disorders Not Otherwise Specified. Ahhh, Phew! As if you weren’t confused enough
already. Let’s look at Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (or EDNOS as they
are known in the eating disorder community) and see if maybe THAT speaks to you. If you have EDNOS that means that you probably
have negative body image issues. You fast regularly and are losing weight but still
have your period. You are purging after meals but not as frequently. You are binging on
food but again not AS frequently. And of course you falsely believe that you are fat. The
medical community contends that this is simply a pre-diagnosis, the stage before things get
completely out of hand and you become an official Anorexic, Bulimic, Binge Eater or Emotional
Overeater. Okay Phew! Now you have all the specifics
you need. All the information that the medical community uses to tell you which eating disorder
you have and that is REALLY HELPFUL in order to find freedom from your eating disorder…
right? “Right! So I’m Anorexic then… or hmmmm
wait a minute… I still have my period.” ‘Oh okay so then I’m Bulimic right?! Or
wait, do my binges last less than two hours or more than two hours? And how long have
I been doing this for exactly? I don’t remember…” “Well I am purging a lot but I’m not really
binging on food, I’m sort of purging ANY food so what was that disorder again?” “I’m so confused, I don’t seem to fit
any eating disorder criteria. Maybe I don’t have an eating disorder! Maybe I’m just
on a long-term diet right? I mean everyone’s on a diet. I mean for Pete sake, being on
a diet is normal!” “Oh! It seems like THOSE symptoms are pretty
serious. I don’t have any of those symptoms yet so I must be okay to deal with this on
my own. Phew! Good thing I don’t need any treatment.” “What if I go in to get treatment and they
laugh at me. What if I don’t ‘pass the test’ of having an eating disorder. Then
what? I know, I’ll ramp up my binging and purging to make sure that when I get there
I look sick enough, my story is bad enough, and I make the cut to get treatment. Then
I’ll be able to get some help, then someone will take me seriously, then someone will
care enough to help me.” “Actually my eating disorder is different
than all those other girls. I mean I choose to binge and purge. I could stop anytime I
wanted.” “I don’t need eating disorder treatment
because I’m in control of what I’m doing.” “The girls with these labels are way worse
than I am. I mean I’m different. My eating disorder is…” Any of THAT sounding familiar? And even if you do manage to be that perfectly
round peg in a round hole and match a diagnosis criteria for one of these specific eating
disorders perfectly, NOW what? SO WHAT! Where is the power in that? Where are the
answers in a label? Who wants to be a label anyway? NOT me. I didn’t need anyone ELSE to help me focus
on all the things that were wrong, bad and disordered in my life. I didn’t WANT to
be fixed. And I didn’t NEED to be fixed. The real me was great. The real me just got
covered up, it got poured over, by all the crap that got piled on top of me. THAT is
the problem! Not me and not you. I needed to find ME. All this toxic crap, it wasn’t
me. I resented the label, I didn’t want to be
labeled, and finally I just had to say ‘Enough is enough. Don’t label me.’ This eating disorder was NOT part of my DNA
and it’s NOT part of yours. So stop trying to look for a label. Stop trying to fix yourself.
You are not broken. You have been covered over. I say screw that! It is time to be YOU
again. Label-free. Say it! Don’t label me. Don’t label me.
Come on, who cares, say it out loud, do it with me. Don’t label me. Don’t label me.
I am not a label. Okay so now lets do something to find YOU.
Yes YOU! That crazy, funny, exciting, sexy, powerful, creative, amazing person that you
actually are. YOU. My friend. My soul mate. YOU . I want to know you. The world wants
to know you. The world needs you! Make sure you visit my blog at
and post your comment below this video. I answer every comment personally that is made
on my blog, and I want to hear from you. And say it out loud ‘Don’t label me!’ Now let’s show the world who you really

29 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I started laughing when you began talking about "well, I meet this criteria, but not this one." "Wait… do my binges last more or less than two hours." I don't know if you intended it to be funny or not, but I thought it did a great job in pointing out how ridiculous it is to force labels on disordered eating.

  2. @BeckyChirpNDesign I KNOW!!! THAT label is the MOST ridiculous one of all! In fact the medical community even deciding to 'create that label' is so stinkin' insane… that I thought it deserved its OWN VIDEO! (coming up) Stay tuned! Shan ox

  3. I mostly starve myself, but on occasion when the hunger is too much I binge and purge. (This has been going on for almost 4 months) I cannot trust the scales anymore, (Since I see the number as being higher than it actually is while everyone else tells me it is lower) but I have noticed that all of my clothes are bigger and that my family/friends/and other people are telling me that I REALLY need to stop losing weight. I hate it, but I am scared to gain weight.

  4. @Eshrimpski LOL… yup. We are cut from the same cloth… I get exactly where you are… every woman suffering from ED (no matter the 'label') understands this thinking because we ARE or WERE plagued with it, everyday, all day long.
    Keep watching hun, share your insights and the actions you take as a result.
    Thanks for being here and commenting. Please 'like' and 'share' these videos… this message needs to reach so many 🙂
    Luv Shan ox

  5. @killkrissiez Hi Kristin… I always sigh when a new woman shows up on my channel because I feel so frustrated at the number of powerful women who's lives are being s-t-o-l-e-n by ED…
    but then it quickly turns to a feeling of comfort, that at least i know you are HERE and learning the freedom principles that worked for me… in the hopes that they will work in YOUR life.
    You are right not to trust the scale… sounds like you have a support group waiting to help you be free!?!
    Shan ox

  6. Wow thats exactly what i did….i started eating less so that it would be more believeable and i am choosing to stop eating honestly….i think im endos…:/ maybe

  7. Ya I was diagnosed with EDNOS, but I have basically have been Anorexic, Bulimic, and binge eating . Don't like they say that EDNOS isn't as bad. because I just deal with everything and well I didn't get diagnosed with anorexia because I had my period though I was underweight enough, and I was on birth control so it shouldn't have counted. I always felt like I wasn't sick enough because I had my period silly right. I hate the labels. EDNOS is bad too I hate it.

  8. I always feel like I'm not sick enough because I'm EDNOS. I feel like I don't fit in because I'm fat and not thin like most people.

  9. yea I am the tipe with fat and muscle i can bench press my weight and I am you know fisically strong but I look like shit

  10. yea I am the tipe with fat and muscle i can bench press my weight and I am you know fisically strong but I look like shit
    yea bulimia is my thing

  11. my mums a dietician and my dads a chef
    i know its bad to purge so i don't i continuously eat and don't do anything about it
    i can't stop eating junk
    and i do so whenever i'm bored, reading, studying, or emotional..i fixate on food and i hate myself
    i don't go out to parties or dress up i don't go to clubs or bars and follow others because of my low confidence i don't go to coed gyms because of what others may think and the funny thing is i'm only 10 kj over weight
    what do i do?

  12. I've purged in the past, not anymore. I've binged in the past, not anymore. Now I restrict A LOT. I'm loosing weight, but I don't think it's unhealthy. I just don't get hungry, and I'm glad I don't. I'm EDNOS, I think. I'm not sick enough :p My family thinks I am, they tell me I'm too skinny, but they're blind. I know it sounds like the typical response but my story is different. Promise

  13. im 12 and ive starded eating diffrent i weigh 137 and i used to eat when ever i felt like it and now i just feel like i dont really wanna eat is something wrong with me

  14. I'm 12. Yeah, I know, too young? I used to be very self-conscious (as I still am) and would worry much about my body and appearance in general. Now, I have noticed myself skipping one or more meals every day. My parents force me to eat at every meal. At school, lie about eating lunch. I have tried to make myself vomit. I count every calorie. I can't stop.

  15. I hope at least one psychiatrist constructing the new DSM V watches this video because so many people fall through the cracks of diagnosis, and many times cannot get any help without a diagnosis. This message is a very important one.

  16. iv watched a million videos trying to figure myself out. never seem to relate. im not sure why i clicked on this one. but i just burst into tears.

  17. It would be a shame for you not to melt fat when these other people are able to lose weight so easily with Fat Blast Blueprint (Google it).

  18. that is great. That is exactly what I felt for 6 years- I 'still' had menstruation, I 'still' ate (maybe not huge amounts, but reasonable), I was 'still' doing something not matching the criteria, so in the end when it got worse and everything matched, I was so happy to finally hear the label. AND on the other hand I felt like a failure, 'cause now I'm all 'official', I'm 'the bad case' now, the 'serious one'…. Finding: the thinking in our heads is eternal. Labels DO NOTHING, help NOTHING!!!

  19. Hello there! Thank you for this useful video. By the way, I notice lots of people keep on talking about Bulimilorex Remedy (do a google search), but I'm not sure if it is really good. Have you considered home remedy called Bulimilorex Remedy? I have heard many incredible things about it and my buddy completely cure her bulimia safely with this remedy.

  20. The labels are just for insurance purposes. There needs to be a label with a bunch of symptoms under it in order for your insurance to pay for it, so get a fuckin grip lady.

  21. I'm glad I wasn't the only one confused by the labels! I always felt like something was wrong with me but I didn't know what exactly. I didn't think I was anorexic because I wasn't severely underweight…yet. Later, I would do as you said and tried to get sicker so I could finally get help and for someone to finally care about me…

  22. labels are deadly… at my worst, i wasn't eating, i looked like a bag of bones, my potassium was 2.9 and i went into cardiac arrest several times – yet i couldn't get treatment in Australia because my BMI was 26 at the time – so according to paper, I was obese, yet I've actually DIED several times because i refused to eat more than mere morsels for months…  The only way for me to get treatment was to pay $1k a day after health insurance for a private facility – money which i didn't have… so I'm still suffering 20 years later… 

  23. omg when u started talking about all about labeling and not sick enough or even I don't meet any of the criteria of an eating disorder and just all those things u said I didn't really think that some one with an eating disorder would that I thought that was just only me thinking negative i geuss but after watching this video I realize that I do have a problem so thank you so much I didn't know how uncontrolled I was thxs again

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