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Everything about eating disorders

Eating disorders are a range of psychological conditions that cause unhealthy eating habits to develop. They might start with an obsession with food, body weight, or body shape.


In this world of social media, the majority of people we follow and idolize seem to have the perfect bodies which negatively impact teens and adults alike and can cause body dissatisfaction. Eating disorders may also be caused due to genetics- they are not character flaws but are characterized as illnesses.


A person with an eating disorder may be underweight, overweight, or normal weight and this mental illness has the highest mortality rate since most people can’t tell when someone close to them is living with one and that is the scariest part.


Three most common eating disorders:


  1. Anorexia Nervosa


While most of us worry about gaining too much weight, people with Anorexia Nervosa have an extreme fear of gaining weight. The intake of an extremely low-calorie diet and feel better about themselves when they lose weight.


Refusing to eat or lying about food intake coupled with insomnia, hair loss, exhaustion, dry skin, and women’s loss of menstruation are some symptoms to look out for.


  1. Binge eating disorder


This happens when a person eats unusually large amounts of food in a short period of time during which they feel relief but experience extreme guilt and shame later and do not purge. We all sometimes overeat, especially with Christmas around the corner, when overeating becomes a regular occurrence, that leads to binge eating disorders. Some causes are emotional trauma, depression, anxiety, body image, or sometimes genetics.


Continuous weight gain, eating in secret, and feeling of shame when someone finds out about their eating habits are some symptoms.


  1. Bulimia Nervosa


The person struggling with this type of eating disorder may secretly binge and will often purge(get rid of the excess calories in an unhealthy way) after eating. Purging may be done by self-induced vomiting or misusing laxatives. This is done to prevent weight gain and offset some of the guilt of having eaten a large number of calories.


Some symptoms to look out for would be having sores, scars, or calluses on the knuckles or hands, or something simple like them not wanting to eat in public or constantly worrying about being fat.


TREATMENT


While each eating disorder would have separate treatment, asking for help would be the first step. Approaching a team of professionals that specialize in the field of eating disorders, making a plan for treating your disorder, and setting treatment goals would help. Meeting a mental health professional to find the root of the problem and a nutritionist to educate yourself on diet and meal-planning should be done.


Many people experiencing eating disorders are ashamed and scared to take the first step so try looking out for symptoms in your friends and loved ones. While you cannot force them to get help, be there for them and educate yourselves on their condition.



SOURCES



Eating disorder treatment: Know your options - Mayo Clinic

www.mayoclinic.org › in-depth › art-20046234


Binge Eating Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

www.healthline.com › nutrition › binge-eating-disorder


Bulimia nervosa - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic

www.mayoclinic.org › symptoms-causes › syc-20353615


3 Common Types of Eating Disorders - Mental Health First Aid

www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org › external › 2018/05 › 3-...


Anorexia: Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Articles For Treatment

www.eatingdisorderhope.com › information ›


Writer - Dyumna Madan

Editor - Jasmine Kwok

Illustrator - Shaina Rahman

Graphics - Angeline Saleh and Jhem Picache




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