Eating disorder is described as a mental health condition of people with abnormal eating habits, irregular eating, and irrational emphasis on body and exercise. Many people in the world struggle with eating disorders. It’s said eating disorders reveal themselves in numerous ways and aren’t always limited to physical manifestation.
In fact, there are numerous misconceptions around eating disorders. Sometimes people dismiss a person with an eating disorder as a picky eater, or a person who likes to eat. To get you started, this guide aims to assist you in understanding eating disorders and the extension of their manifestation. Below is a guide to understanding eating disorders, all that they entail and their symptoms.
Three Common Types Of Eating Disorders
Not all eating disorders are the same. People may often typecast relatively thin individuals are the only ones who experience eating disorders. However, an eating disorder isn’t a physical illness that could be revealed through a person’s physicality. It’s a mental health condition which reveals patterns of abnormal eating habits in people. One has to understand and acknowledge an eating disorder before undergoing eating disorder treatment of any sort. These are three examples of some eating disorders.
- Bulimia Nervosa
This is when one experiences periods of uncontrollable overeating habits or engages in excessive binge eating. However, soon after these episodes, one then purges using multiple methods. Examples of these methods are laxatives and self-induced vomiting.
- Anorexia Nervosa
This is an eating disorder which involves severe under eating, deliberate starvation, and severely abnormal eating habits. It’s driven by the intense fear of gaining weight and is usually associated with an obscured view of weight. Anorexia nervosa could involve a wide range of things including, induced vomiting, use of laxatives, calorie counting, excessive weight checking, and many other things.
- Binge Eating Disorder (BED)
This eating disorder involves the consumption of large amounts of food within short periods of time. Binge eating is usually associated with excessive guilt and weight gain due to the binge eating. Some people become numb to the continuous food intake and eventually suffer from obesity or various eight related illnesses.
Symptoms Of Eating Disorders
There are many signs that could reveal someone is experiencing an eating disorder. Although some cannot be seen at surface level, most symptoms could be detected through assessment of patterns or various recurring events. The following is an exploration of some symptoms of eating disorders.
- Excessive Calorie Counting
There’s a large difference among watching what you eat, practicing intuitive eating, dieting and calorie counting. Calorie counting could be a very toxic habit to continuously undergo. Excessive calorie counting involves an uncontrollable obsession with counting calories and being unable to consume anything without having accurate information on calories. This could indicate an eating disorder.
- Consistent Meal Skipping
Meal skipping is often masked as fasting or dieting. However, there’s a clean line between each of these three things. If someone if skipping their meals consistently, particularly with no excuse, then they may be developing or having an eating disorder.
- Menstrual Irregularities And Weight Fluctuations
Eating disorders often occur in episodes. When you see someone who’s weight is continually fluctuating or is losing weight rapidly, they could be developing and eating disorders. Eating disorders create an unstable distribution of nutrients and affect one’s menstruations, thus someone with missed periods of taking hormonal contraceptives may be experiencing an eating disorder.
- Greatly Developed Concern With Body Size
Eating disorders in today’s world are usually centered around body size. The media has presented beauty standards that people desperately seek to achieve. If someone is outrightly critics of their body and constantly makes negative remarks about their body, don’t ignore it, they may be developing an eating disorder because of this.
Eating disorders have grown into a widespread mental health condition and have become an indication of the great influence that the mind has on the body. Other symptoms of eating disorders are severe mood swings, fatigue, fainting, breathing problems, binge eating, mouth calluses from induced vomiting, intense weight gain or loss, regular dieting, and many others. The minute you sense a symptom in yourself or in another person, it’s important you seek help because there’s always someone who’s gone through what you have who can guide you in helping yourself.
Causes Of Eating Disorders
The symptoms and causes of eating disorders vary and they could stem from numerous places. People have a lot of mental burdens and this may contribute to why they engage in eating disorders or bad eating habits. Some people feel alone and unheard and often use food as an escape, resulting in obesity or weight gain.
Social media has also had a great influence of the development of eating disorders. People tend to succumb to society’s beauty standards, which have been distorted for years. People may see a picture of a relatively slim girl and then want to look exactly like within a few days. Some girls even stop eating for long periods of time and eventually end up in hospital. Many people suffer from body dysmorphia and some of it may stem from the media.
Some other causes of eating disorders include genetics, low self-esteem, histories of other mental illnesses, stress, and excessive dieting lifestyles.
Eating Disorders Are Real
It may be hard for you to understand why someone would stop nourishing their body despite the fact that they desperately want to, but acknowledging that eating disorders are real is the first step to confronting them. There are numerous different types, symptoms, and causes— some are genetic mental health disorders and others are adopted overtime. Seek help and prioritize the betterment of your mental health, because in today’s world, the reality of such illnesses is explored more than before.