Eating disorders are commonly perceived as life style choice. But eating disorder can be serious and fatal illness which alters person`s eating habits. It is not very uncommon for all of us to change our food habits time to time. Some time we stick to healthy diet and at times we crave for certain things or eat too much. This is totally a normal behavior. But if you are not eating a healthy or balance diet for a prolonged time period, which can affect your health is certainly something to worry about.
Like any other mental illness, it’s important to find out when it turns out to be a health problem. However, it’s equally important to understand that eating disorder is not about food, it demonstrates the difficult situation someone is facing in life or a feeling that is difficult to express. Having an eating disorder is very difficult thig to cope with.
There can be many reasons for having an eating disorder like
# Social and cultural pressure
# Difficult life situation
# Family issues
# Personality trait
# Other mental health problems
# chronic physical illness
Different types of eating disorders are –
- Anorexia nervosa
It is a potentially life threatening eating disorder characterized by abnormally low body weight and intense fear of gaining weight which is usually accompanied by distorted perception of body shape. Anorexic people are often extremely strict with their food habit making every effort to their weight and shape to an extent which ruins their health and lifestyle. they often follow extreme methods such as using laxatives, vomiting after food, excessive exercise or even deadly self- starvation etc. to reduce weight.
- Bulimia nervosa
bulimia is a serious eating disorder which comprises of episode of bingeing (over eating) followed by purging which is a feeling of lack of control over eating. The binge episode can be described as eating more than intended and continue eating even after you are full. This act is followed by a feeling of guilt or shame which compels to take unusual ways like forced vomiting or taking laxative to get rid of the excess calories which can be termed as purging.
- Binge – eating disorder
Binge eating disorder can be described as lack of control over eating and you often tend to eat more than usual even when you are full or not hungry. This is not followed by purging however, the feeling of shame or guilt is often usual in this case.
Factors that show you are at risk
- Skipping meals
- Adopting an
- Staying away from social activities
- Excessive focus on healthy eating
- Constantly worried about weight gain or body shape
- Frequently looking for physical flaws by checking on mirror or by asking others
- Consuming dietary supplements or herbal products for weight loss
- Taking laxatives
- Excessive exercise
- Trying to induce vomiting
- Eating in secret to avoid embarrassment
- Eating more than usual
- Expressing shame or guilt over the eating habits
These are the few symptoms which are indicative of an eating disorder. Like any other mental illness, it`s important to understand and acknowledge the problem. As soon as u realize that you have an eating disorder, you should contact a medical professional. After analyzing the condition, they can then refer to a therapist for further treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy works best for eating disorders. Sometimes talking to a therapist helps in understanding the underlying issues and to cope with the problem. Medication is also important but there is no particular medicine to treat eating disorder. Medicine can be given for any other underlying illness like depression anxiety or chronic physical condition which affects the eating habit. Talking and discussing with people you trust and practicing mindfulness as well as relaxation techniques can certainly help in overcoming eating disorder.