Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Screening
The CAGE-AID questionnaire is a simple test that checks for signs of alcohol dependence. It can be a useful tool that only requires a minute or two of time.
People with eating disorders experience serious disruptions in their eating habits and related thoughts and emotions. This includes preoccupation with food, body weight, and body shape. Eating disorders can affect people of all ages, backgrounds, body weights, and genders, but are most likely to be diagnosed in women during adolescence and early adulthood. These disorders are serious and can be life-threatening.
Eating disorders affect approximately 3% of the population. Genetic, biological, psychological, and social factors appear to play a role in the risk for this type of disorder, though the exact cause is not fully understood. Learn more about different types of eating disorders.
People with anorexia nervosa think they are overweight even when they are dangerously underweight. They tend to obsess about their weight and try to control it by restricting their food intake and/or exercising excessively. Of any mental health condition, this eating disorder has the highest mortality rate. Many diagnosed with anorexia nervosa die of starvation or issues related to malnutrition. There is also a high risk of suicide.
- Restrictions on food intake leading to low body weight
- Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat
- Seeing one’s body differently than others see it
- Self-value based on body weight or shape
- Fails to recognize the seriousness of low body weight
Individuals with bulimia nervosa have periods of uncontrolled eating, called binge eating, and then purge their large food intake by making themselves vomit, using laxatives, exercising excessively, or resorting to a combination of these behaviors. People with bulimia nervosa often have a normal body weight, unlike those with anorexia nervosa.
- Recurrent episodes of binge eating where the person eats an unusually large amount of food in one sitting and feels like they cannot control how much they are eating
- Frequent inappropriate attempts to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, or excessive exercise
- A cycle of binge eating and purging that occurs on average, at least once a week for three months
- Self-value based on body weight or shape
Signs of this disorder may be noticeable to others, including:
- Persistent sore throat
- Dehydration from purging of fluids
- Teeth staining or decay from stomach acids
- Intestinal irritation from laxative abuse
Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in America. Individuals with binge eating disorder have periods of uncontrolled eating called binge eating, but unlike bulimia nervosa, no offsetting behaviors are done to prevent weight gain. About two-thirds of all people with binge eating disorder are obese, but most obese people do not have binge eating disorder. Current body weight does not factor in to a diagnosis of binge eating disorder.
- Recurrent episodes of binge eating at least once a week where the person eats an unusually large amount of food in a sitting and feels like they cannot control how much they are eating
- Eating faster than normal
- Eating until uncomfortably full
- Eating large amounts of food when not hungry
- Eating alone to avoid embarrassment of how much one is eating
- Feeling disgusted or guilty with oneself after overeating
Individuals with eating disorders are at a higher risk for medical complications and suicide, so the earlier someone seeks treatment, the better.
Treatments may include:
- Individual, group, or family mental health counseling
- Nutrition counseling
- Medical monitoring and care, either outpatient or inpatient
Let's Talk Stigma
Many people suffer from a mental health diagnosis in silence because of the discrimination that goes along with it. Let's Talk Stigma is starting a conversation to end the stigma surrounding mental illness
We're here for you
At Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York, we're here to help support you or a loved one experiencing an eating disorder. Help is only a call away. Contact a case manager at 1-877-878-8785, option 2.
If you're thinking about harming yourself or need immediate help, call 911, go to your nearest emergency room, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for free, confidential support.