Feeding and Eating Disorders

Developed over the past 20 years, the PsychProfiler is a trusted psychology assessment that screens for over 20 common psychiatric, psychological and educational disorders in children, teens and adults. Of these disorders, the PsychProfiler tests for feeding and eating disorders in children and adults, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. The Child and Adolescent PsychProfiler (CAPP) allows for three separate respondents when screening: the child or adolescent, the parent, and the teacher. When screening, the Adult PsychProfiler (APP) provides for two respective respondents: the adult and an observer (spouse, parent or friend).

What is a feeding and eating disorder?

A feeding and eating disorder refers to an individual’s experience of unhealthy food and body behaviours. There are many known eating disorders, most creating extreme difficulties with self-image and nourishing the body of the sustenance it requires to fuel everyday life.

According to the DSM-5, the following eating disorders, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, are the most common eating and feeding disorders. The pertaining features of each eating disorder can also be known to overlap with other psychological disorders and be experienced by individuals of all ages.

Anorexia Nervosa

There are three essential features of anorexia nervosa (AN); namely, (1) persistent energy intake restriction; (2) intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, or persistent behaviour that interferes with weight gain; and (3) a disturbance in self-perceived weight or shape. As a result, the individual maintains a body weight that is below a minimally normal level for age, gender, developmental trajectory, and physical health.

There are a number of signs and symptoms of anorexia nervosa to look out for, both physically and psychologically. Some physical symptoms include developing food intolerances, poor sleep, lethargy, looking pale, sunken eyes, thinning hair on the face and body, loss of menstruation in women and decreased sex drive in men.

Psychological signs of anorexia nervosa can include being preoccupied with eating, body shape and weight, having a distorted body image, depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating and low self-esteem. These symptoms negatively impact many aspects of the individual’s life, making testing for anorexia, diagnosis and treatment so important.

Bulimia Nervosa

There are three essential features of bulimia nervosa (BN); namely: (1) recurrent episodes of binge-eating, (2) recurrent inappropriate compensatory behaviours to prevent weight gain, and (3) self-evaluation that is unduly influenced by body shape and weight. The binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviours must occur, on average, at least once per week for three months.

When looking for signs or symptoms of bulimia nervosa, it’s important to look at both the physical and psychological factors. Physical symptoms may include frequent fluctuations in body weight, loss of or altered menstrual cycles, damage from frequent vomiting such as face swelling, damaged teeth and bad breath, and fainting or dizziness. Psychological symptoms may include obsession with dieting and body image, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, feelings of guilt after eating, sensitivity to conversations surrounding eating, dieting or body image and a distorted self-perception. These signs and symptoms can cause significant damage to an individual’s overall health, both physical and psychological, so it’s important that the correct testing for bulimia nervosa, diagnosis and treatment are all undertaken.

What is the PsychProfiler?

The PsychProfiler is an online psychological assessment that helps individuals, parents, and practitioners screen for 20 of the most common psychiatric, psychological and educational disorders in children, adolescents and adults. Screening for these disorders helps to identify a path forward with treatment to help individuals and their loved ones live their most fulfilling and rewarding lives. Learn more about the PsychProfiler here.