Eating disorders are illnesses characterized by abnormal eating habits. The patients are obsessed with their body weight and shape and are also distressed about either eating too much or none at all which damages a person. These disorders can originate at any time of life but are mostly start to appear in the teenage years or young adolescent years as people are most focused on their bodies at these stages of their lives. Eating disorders are actual mental illnesses and are also classified and treated as such. All of them can be treated but their symptoms and consequences are highly deadly if not taken care of. These conditions are directly linked with other conditions such as anxiety or depression.
3 Common eating disorders
1- Anorexia Nervosa
This disorder is characterized by unusually low weight. The patients have an intense fear of gaining weight and also have an inaccurate perception of weight. People with anorexia use drastic measures to keep their weights as low as possible. They skip as many meals as they can. They also have a keen eye on their calorie intake and often vomit purposefully after eating. They are notorious for consuming too many diet aids or laxatives. Even after losing a lot of weight, they keep on exercising. The fear of weight gain persists all the time in their minds.
For these patients, food is somehow related to their self –worth. They might feel undeserving to eat. Their thin bodies are correlated to their self-worth. Hence, anorexia is used as a toxic coping mechanism to their emotions.
Causes of Anorexia:
Anorexia is a combination of various psychological, environmental and biological factors which is why it’s exact causes are unknown.
Since the modern Western culture focuses on slim and thin body shapes, peer pressure forces the public to acquire thinness especially young girls.
Some genes may be responsible for causing anorexia. A genetic tendency towards sensitivity and perfectionism might assist in developing anorexia.
Patients with anorexia might have obsessive-compulsive traits that forces them to stick to thinness and ignore food.