EDO Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders, or EDO’s, are psychological disorders that cause alterations in eating behavior. Anyone with feeding difficulties is concerned with weight, body image, and eating. Due to TCAs, important diseases can be generated and in extreme cases, cause death.

In our Day Hospitals in Barcelona and Madrid, we have a multidisciplinary team, so that the person who undergoes an eating disorder treatment can heal and feel good. However, eating disorders are long and complex, because their main feature is the lack of awareness about the disorder.

Types of Eating Disorders that we treat from Desconect@


It is characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight, an obsession with food, and an alteration in the perception of one’s own body. In women, due to significantly underweight, amenorrhea (loss of menstruation) may occur. There is a desire to continue losing weight, even while being under the healthy weight for height.

In the case of restrictive AN, there is a restriction in food intake, and it can be accompanied by an abuse of physical activity.

When we speak of purgative NA, there are behaviors aimed at purging in order to lose weight (self-induced vomiting, incorrect use of laxatives, diuretics or enemas).


In binge eating disorder, there are recurrent episodes of binge eating, but unlike bulimia, there are no associated compensatory behaviors.

They have a sense of lack of control of what they eat during the binge episode and feel great guilt about it.

People who have it may have tried a large number of diets, and none have been successful. Their use of food is associated with emotional conflicts.


It is an eating disorder that does not meet the criteria to diagnose a specific eating disorder. They are currently the most common eating disorders. In these cases, the difficulties can be complicated by the appearance of different psychopathological, behavioral, relational factors, etc …


Bulimia nervosa is characterized by recurrent binge-eating episodes and great emotional instability. They feel a sense of lack of control over what they eat during the binge episode.

After the binge, compensatory behaviors appear (vomiting, laxatives, or diuretics in purgative BN; fasting or restriction in non-purgative BN).

There is an obsession to lose weight, although they do not become underweight.

They tend to keep the symptom hidden, that makes it possible to keep the eating disorder hidden for longer.


How to detect an eating disorder in a teenager

Sometimes detecting TCA disease at an early stage can prevent further damage both emotionally and physically. Although the detection of this type of disorder is not easy, it is very important to pay attention to possible warning signs:

  • Behaviors and attitudes that indicate that losing weight and controlling nutrition are becoming the greatest concern of the person.
  • The adolescent repeatedly complains about his physical appearance, he wears wide clothes without ever showing his body, he does not want to leave his room, to try on clothes or to put on a swimsuit.
  • Skipping meals with all kinds of excuses.
  • Hide or save food.
  • Go to the bathroom right after meals. Try to hide vomiting or justify it.
  • Protests about constipation and use of laxatives, diuretics and / or slimming pills.
  • Teach a sudden interest in cooking and recipes. Prepare elaborate dishes and never taste them.
  • Find out about the composition of food and its energy value (count calories).
  • Disrupt eating habits, increasing the intake of vegetables and fruits and reducing or eliminating the intake of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
  • “Hobbies” with food. Cut it or break it into very small pieces, stir it on the plate, chew a lot, changes in the speed of intake, etc.
  • Enjoy when others eat or encourage them to do so.
  • Chew gum continuously or increase the consumption of diet drinks, coffee or tea, generally with the goal of disguising the feeling of appetite.
  • Disappearance of large amounts of food, often “forbidden foods” because they are hypercaloric.
  • Increase in sports practice, which generally takes place alone and urgently.
  • Take advantage of any occasion to walk or avoid taking elevators.
  • Hide the body with loose clothing to hide its shape or possible weight loss.

Sensitive signs of Eating Disorder and changes in relationships with others

  • Intense fear of weight gain.
  • Essential dissatisfaction with one’s own body, figure and weight.
  • Distortion of the anatomical image (not realistically perceiving one’s own body).
  • The only interests are food, exercise, and weight.
  • Low self-esteem and high self-criticism.
  • Low mood or usual and sudden changes, irritability and / or anxiety.
  • An apparent absence of feelings. Do not express emotions such as anger, joy, sadness, pleasure or anxiety.
  • Do not enjoy hobbies and abandon them. With what I used to enjoy and was pleasant, now it is not.
  • Disinterest in the relationship with the rest.
  • Distance from friends and isolation at home.
  • Worsening of family relationships and coexistence.


What are EDO's or Eating Disorders?

Eating Behavior Disorders or EDO’s are a group of mental disorders characterized by disturbed eating behavior and / or the appearance of inappropriate behaviors aimed at controlling weight. These are serious diseases, with physical and psychological difficulties that put the health of the people who suffer them at high risk.
Three clinical categories are distinguished: anorexia, bulimia and unspecified eating disorders.

Why do eating disorders occur?

Although the causes of these diseases are unknown, the predisposing and triggering factors that significantly influence the appearance of these eating disorders are known.
They have been identified as such:

  • Low self-esteem, low acceptance of one’s own anatomical image.
  • A perfectionist or impetuous personality style, thinking with marked rigidity and also.
  • Inflexibility to make changes, pressure from peers, the family, the media, fashion or the dietetic industry, such as dieting without monitoring by a health professional.

These factors, together with stressful situations or that imply complexity for the person, can give rise to an Eating Disorder.

Therefore, they are multicausal disorders in which, although genetic and biological factors influence, psychological and associated-cultural factors occupy a marked place.

Can family be the cause of eating disorders?

No, an eating disorder is a very complex disorder that is triggered by a combination of factors. In most cases, the difficult activities that are observed in the family are the consequence, and not the cause, of having an eating disorder in the family, which is a very serious chronic overwhelming situation.

For this reason, it is essential that the family receives support to avoid entering into harmful activities that can sustain and / or worsen the problem, but this is very, very different from being “the cause” that has generated this kind of disorder. Obviously, every family can make mistakes without pretending and these are not a choice. Every mother and every father gives their best to the best of their ability. It is essential that the family feel that they are not to blame for the problem, but they must be aware of their essential role in the treatment of eating disorders, while their attitude towards the problem can facilitate or complicate the progress that the patient is making. .

Will he be able to continue his studies if he is admitted to the day hospital?

Admission to the Day Hospital to treat an eating disorder will obviously depend on the adolescent’s health status and how advanced the course is. If the clinical team considers that it can successfully carry out both the EDO’s course and treatment, it will work in collaboration with the institute / school to make academic evaluation possible. The family and the patient must be aware that the priority will always be the state of health.

How long does a treatment for an Eating Disorder last?

The duration of treatment for an eating disorder will depend on the time of evolution of the disease and the physical and psychological deterioration that the adolescent presents at the beginning of treatment. It will also depend on the family support that the adolescent has at the time of overcoming her problem. These are very complex pathologies, so the treatments are not short. In this aspect, the awareness of the patient regarding her illness and the determination with which she confronts it to be cured is of vital importance.
In Programa Desconect@ we offer an interdisciplinary treatment. Our team is made up of doctors, psychologists, pedagogues and nutritionists.