Eating disorders develop at different rates and to varying levels of severity or intensity in individual patients. The mental symptoms of some patients may remain sub-clinical their entire lives while others alternate between normality and extreme cognitions and behaviors. Some patients suffer a short bout of illness and recover fully, while others repeatedly relapse. It is known that patients with the quickest initial recoveries often go on to the best prognosis, probably because the brain damage due to restriction/binging/purging has been prevented. It is not yet known whether the underlying brain disorder of each patient has degrees of severity or if prognosis is dependent on the intervention and the environment. As there are no ways to predict when/if an eating disorder will become serious or life-threatening, it is important to treat ANY symptoms with utmost concern and to immediately seek professional help.
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