A Look into Eating Disorders

. 2 min read

Eating disorders are often thought of as a new phenomenon but aren’t anything but. They may be more prevalent in today’s society but there is nothing new about them. They may have become more prevalent in recent years as awareness has risen about these debilitating disorders. From anorexia to binge eating, there are many different behaviours that can be described as an eating disorder.

An unrealistic body image

Someone suffering from eating disorder may have an unrealistic view of their body. This is often known as body dysmorphic disorder where even the slimmest of people were looking manner and see someone fat and grotesque. Having such a distorted body view will spa the sufferer on to losing weight in western healthy ways such as bingeing and purging, use of laxatives.

The three main types of eating disorders are

  • Anorexia

Anorexia is a eating and mental health disorder. Restricting intake of food to consume minimal calories, like all eating disorders the sufferer will have low self-esteem and negative body image. Anorexia has their highest mortality rate of any mental health condition. Anorexia can be fatal as the body suffers from malnutrition and stops functioning properly.

  • Bulimia

Bulimia is when someone binges and purges themselves in order to negate the effects of the food eating. Bingeing and purging brings Hall set of implications for health both short-term and long-term. The stress placed on the body by purging, either by self induced vomiting or use of laxatives can cause stomach ulcers, mouth ulcers and malnutrition. In cases where vomiting is used as the method of purging, the sufferer may have scars on their hands and fingers from where the teeth scrape against the knuckles and fingers.

  • Binge eating disorder

Binge eating is similar to bulimia but no purging is involved. The binge eater will use food as a coping mechanism and eat large amounts of food in one sitting. Binge eating can cause weight gain and obesity.

Treating eating disorders

There are different ways of treating eating disorders, but first the sufferer must recognise that they have a problem. Sometimes a professional intervention may be required as the pleas of friends and family fall on deaf ears. Confronting someone with an eating disorder can be difficult as they may deny they have a problem. Sometimes someone with an eating disorder may lie and try to cover their problems as they fall into a cycle of destructive behaviour.

Residential rehabilitation can be useful in treating eating disorders. Taking time out from everyday life can help someone with an eating disorder concentrate fully on getting better. By breaking the routines and habits of destructive eating disorders under 24 hour supervision, can help kick-start-recovery. Rehabilitation from an eating disorder is an ongoing process and someone who has had an eating disorder may find it is a lifelong battle to prevent relapse.

Outpatient treatment has also been shown to be ineffective way to help fight eating disorders. It may require extra willpower and determination on behalf of  the sufferer as despite receiving top-class help and care during the day, returning home to their own environment at night may tempt them into relapsing quicker.