Our understanding of eating disorders is very limited. Often, we limit eating disorders to be about food and ignore the fact that these are mental health conditions that lead to abuse of food and so on. Eating disorder constitutes a wide range of psychological conditions that cause the development of unhealthy habits. Just to be clear, it is a mental disorder followed by bad eating habits and not the other way around.
Eating disorders are often taken lightly but if left untreated they can have serious health implications leading even to death. Dramatic weight loss, paranoia about dietary habits, obsession with calories, and other such effects constitute the symptoms of eating disorders.
The eating disorder also takes the shape of obsession with bodyweight or body shape most common in young girls. But people of all ages of both genders are equally prone to eating disorders but as said earlier adolescent girls are most vulnerable.
Causes of Eating Disorders
There is no one common cause of eating disorders. It may vary from person to person but some factors are regarded as the most common causes.
- An obsession to attain Zero Figure is found to be a major cause of eating disorders, especially in young girls.
- Societal beauty standards which promote thinness also count among the major causes.
- Perfectionists people resort to going to any measure to attain the “perfect” body that is most vulnerable to disorders.
- Genetics is also found to be a major cause of eating disorders.
- People under constant stress are more prone to seek refuge in eating.
- Biology too plays a role in eating disorders mostly in the form of chemicals like dopamine.
Types of Eating Disorders
This most commonly known type of eating disorder is mostly found in young women. Patients regard themselves as overweight and insist on strict diets which ultimately result in them getting underweight. This constant restriction of calories results in causing various damages to the body. Organ failure is also found to be the result of this eating disorder.
Another well-known eating disorder is more common in women than men. This is characterized by patients consuming large amounts of food in a specific period. The patient feels that he is unable to control eating and eats until it is not possible to eat. Purging measures are then initiated to make up for the excessive calories consumed.
This disorder is characterized by patients eating food that is usually not edible. Non-foods like dirt, soil, toothpaste, paper, and much more are consumed by the patients. This makes them vulnerable to infections, injuries et cetera. Children are the most common victims of this eating disorder.
Binge Eating Disorder
Commonly beginning in adolescence, this disorder can go on in later life. Just like Bulimia they eat unusually large quantities of food but do not resort to purging methods to compensate for the excessive intake. These people are often found to be overweight and obese.
Here people spit up the undigested or partially digested food from the stomach, rechew it, and later swallow or spit it out. It occurs just after the meal. Infants, children, and adults are all prone to it. Infants can solve it on their own but adults need therapy. They are more commonly found to be underweight as the amount of food they eat is restricted as a measure to control the disorder.
Various other disorders are found which are equally devastating if left untreated. It is recommended to seek teen eating disorder treatment for teens and subsequently for adults and children at the earliest to avoid an