Eating disorders are a very serious problem that affect a person’s entire life. They are mental disorders that affect their physical, mental, and social well-being. Untreated eating disorders can often lead to extreme destruction of the body.
WHAT ARE EATING DISORDERS?
Although eating disorders are becoming increasingly common in today’s world, many people still do not have enough knowledge about them. These disorders are often considered a problem of women, especially teenagers. No one chooses to suffer from an eating disorder. These things can simply happen, and the affected person needs help.
CAUSES OF EATING DISORDERS
Unfortunately, there is no specific reason why these individuals suffer from an eating disorder. Everything is very individual. Scientists are searching for the root of the problem in biological and genetic factors, as well as social and emotional factors.
Chemical imbalances in the brain can lead to eating disorders, and biological factors may be to blame. Unfortunately, very often it is the person’s life situation and inability to cope with their own problems that lead to the development of eating disorders. They may be related to low self-esteem, constant stress, and pressure from society, and may be the result of an inability to deal with one’s emotions in a healthy and constructive way. Difficult relationships with others and insecurity can also manifest in eating disorders.
It is always very important to try to find the cause of mental disorders. It can be extreme perfectionism, constant stress, or rejection by peers and low self-esteem – addressing these problems will allow you to cope with eating disorders.
SYMPTOMS OF EATING DISORDERS
Eating disorders are a very diverse group of disorders, so there are no uniform symptoms. They can be bouts of hunger or tormenting the body with strenuous exercise and consuming the smallest amount of calories daily.
Sick people are often accompanied by a feeling of shame and misunderstanding from society. They may, therefore, hide their condition and try to pretend that everything is fine – that is why observation is so important.
TYPES OF EATING DISORDERS
Eating disorders represent a very broad group of disorders. Contrary to popular belief, it can affect anyone – not just teenagers and women. What types of eating disorders can you encounter?
Anorexia is the first thing to think about in connection with eating disorders. It is also called mental anorexia and affects ten times more women than men. Teenagers aged fourteen to eighteen are the most vulnerable…
Anorexia is a disorder in which the affected person drastically restricts calorie intake and tries to maintain their body weight at the lowest possible level. At the same time, they ignore health issues and their main focus is simply to lose weight at any cost.
Bulimia is most commonly experienced by women, although the disorder also occurs in men. Statistically, the highest incidence of bulimia occurs slightly later than in the case of anorexia, between the ages of 18 and 24.
The life of a person with an eating disorder revolves around food. However, they try to fight against gaining weight and avoid it. In this case, there are two types of bulimia. The first is the laxative type and the second is the non-purging type. In the first case, the patient induces vomiting, takes diuretics and laxatives to rid their body of the consumed food after a binge. In the second case, the patient “compensates” for the binge by starving themselves and drastically reducing the number of calories consumed.
EATING DISORDERS – COMPLICATIONS
Eating disorders affect the whole body and can even be fatal. Eating things that are not intended for this purpose can lead to poisoning, mechanical damage to the digestive system, and even death.
Other complications include:
- Hair loss
- Thin, brittle, and damaged hair
- Type 2 diabetes
- Decrease in body temperature
- Kidney failure
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Throat pain
- Digestive problems
- Tooth decay
This is just a small part of a wide range of problems and complications. All of this is very dangerous and significantly reduces the quality of life. Therefore, any eating disorder should not be taken lightly.
EATING DISORDERS – TREATMENT
It happens that sick people do not want to be treated. They may hide their problem out of shame and fear or, as in the case of anorexia, feel that they have everything under control – they just need to lose a little weight to achieve their goal. They do not see the negative effects of weight loss or underestimate its effects, because in their mind there is only one thought – they want to lose weight at any cost.
In the case of eating disorders, action must be taken in two ways. The need for therapy to understand the nature of the problem and solve it. However, medication treatment is also necessary – often people with eating disorders are already in a very poor physical state – their body is exhausted and needs to be balanced and strengthened in order to save their life.
It also happens that people with eating disorders are hospitalized, often in closed units. It is for their own good – people with anorexia and other problems may not be aware of their severity and yet actively try to lose weight, so they need to be kept in check.
However, attention should not only be focused on healing the body. Recognizing their illness is the first and very important step towards recovery.
During therapy, the patient addresses their eating problems and adopts healthy ways of controlling their weight. Therapy also changes the person’s self-image in their own mind – they must accept themselves again and overcome fear. Therapy also helps fight low self-esteem. All of these are key issues that will help prevent relapses.