• Thursday, December 01, 2022

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Eating Disorders: What To Look Out For And Why They’re Dangerous

By: Marie Miguel

Eating disorders are a group of mental health disorders that affect a person’s relationship to food and their body image. They are increasingly common, especially among youth and teens, and can lead to serious side effects and consequences if not treated effectively. Eating disorders can have a negative impact on a person’s physical and mental health, and they generally increase in severity over time.

Different eating disorders manifest in different ways. Though there are stereotypes on what a person with an eating disorder looks like, a person’s body size does not determine whether or not they have an eating disorder. People of all genders, races and body types can have eating disorders and every case is a serious matter.

For more helpful information on eating disorders, follow this link: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/eating-disorders/. Psychologists are continuing to do research on why eating disorders manifest, and the best ways to treat them. If you think you may be living with an eating disorder, speaking to a licensed therapist can help you build a treatment plan that will work for you.

Common Eating Disorders

There are different kinds of classifications of eating disorders that involve different kinds of behavior patterns and symptoms. Here are three of the most common eating disorders that you are likely to encounter.

Anorexia Nervosa – often called simply “anorexia” –  is an eating disorder that involves restriction of food and nutritional intake with the goal of losing weight. People who struggle with this kind of eating disorder may see themselves as overweight, even if they’re very underweight. People who struggle with anorexia may feel compelled to constantly monitor their caloric intake, and feel that they can never be thin enough. Oftentimes, anorexia is related to a need for control. For teens that may feel like they don’t have any power over their lives, anorexia can manifest as an unhealthy coping mechanism.

Bulimia is a disorder that involves a cyclical intake and output of food. People who struggle with bulimia may binge eat, meaning they eat in excess in short amounts of time, past the point of being comfortably full. People who struggle with bulimia will “purge” this food through forced vomiting, excessive exercise or by taking laxatives.

Binge eating disorder, the most common type of eating disorder, involves episodes of eating in excess similar to bulimia. People who struggle with this type of eating disorder may not try to eliminate the food that they’ve consumed, but instead, struggle with feelings of shame and embarrassment.

Though the symptoms of these eating disorders are similar, they are all serious and can take a heavy toll on a person’s mental wellbeing.

You Are Not Alone

If you think you may be struggling with body image issues, disordered eating habits, or an eating disorder, it’s never too late to get help. Food is an important aspect of your life, and with proper treatment you can learn how to combat negative thoughts that surround it.

If you are living with an eating disorder, know that you are not alone. Though it can feel isolating to have a complicated relationship with food, with the right treatment, you can find ways to have a healthier relationship with it. Your mental health is important, and reaching out for support is the first step in being able to stop negative thought patterns as they occur.

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