Eating Disorder: A mental health problems

Eating Disorders is a serious health problem nowadays. Millions of people suffer from this disorder. It involves an unhealthy relationship with food.

It has a significant physical and emotional impact on the person affected and their families.

There are various types of eating disorders such as binge eating disorders, bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders.

It is more common in young adults and adolescents.

Eating Disorders are spreading rapidly almost affecting 5 in every 100 people and about 1 in 10 people experience these disorders in their lifetime.

Some people experiences as

1) extreme dissatisfaction with the body

2) concern about appearance, food and gaining weight

3) A fear of gaining weight

4) eating makes feel anxious, upset or guilty

5) keep checking the body

6) making the vomit or using a laxative to lose weight

7) not controlling around eating junk food

Types

1) Binge eating disorder – people suffering from this disorder will frequently consume large amounts of food, even when they are not feeling hungry. They feel guilty after an eating binge.

2) Bulimia nervosa- people with this disorder have frequent eating binges, often in secret, then get rid of the food through laxatives, vomiting or using diet pills. They feel often out of control.

3)Anorexia Nervosa- people with this condition can be severely underweight, are preoccupied with food and fear putting on weight. They often have a distorted body image and see themselves as fat. People may create extreme rules and restrictions about their diets and exercise.

Symptoms

1) Dieting- it means fasting, skipping meals, and avoiding certain foods.

2) Binge eating – it includes hoarding food or the disappearance of large amounts of food from the kitchen.

3) Purging- vomiting or using laxatives. people who purge often go to the bathroom or after eating.

4) Excessive exercise – a person may refuse to disrupt their exercise routine for any reason and become distressed if unable to exercise.

5) Social withdrawal – the person likely to avoid social gatherings or situations that involves eating or prefers to eat alone.

6) Anxiety

7) Body image- people may focus on body shape and weight.

8) Depression

9) Substance use disorders

Signs

There are some physical signs that a person may have an eating disorder. such as–

1) weight changes

2) Dizziness- feeling light-headed or faint

3) Fatigue – feeling tiredness

4) Disturbed menstrual cycle – disturbed periods

5) Being cold- sensitivity to cold weather

6) inability to concentrate

Some of the emotional signs

1) obsession with weight

2) Low self-esteem

3) negative emotions

4) mood changes

5) mealtime anxiety

Causes

1) Low self-esteem

2)problems with family or friends

3) problems with work

4) lack of confidence

5) concern about sexual assault or emotional abuse

6) certain stressors like exams, work and relationship

7) traumatic events can trigger are eating disorders, such as the death of someone, bullying, abuse or divorce.

8) someone with a long-time illness or disability ( such as diabetes, depression, hearing loss or vision impairment) may also have eating problems.

Diagnosed

Many people who suffer from an eating disorder keep their condition secret or would not admit that they have a problem like this.

There is no single test to determine whether someone has an eating disorder, but there are some procedures that lead to diagnosis- —

a) physical examination – monitoring height, weight, heart rate, blood pressure etc.

b) Psychological evaluation – talk about eating and body image, habits, behaviours and conditions.

Treatments

Starting treatment as soon as possible because there can be long-term health problems for people with chronic disorders.

Some of the treatments are-

1) counselling – counsellors use different methods to help people with chronic eating disorders. A common method of cognitive behaviour therapy( CBT) helps individuals identify and change their thoughts, and feeling associated with their eating disorder.

2) Dietitian – A dietician can help a person with an eating disorder learn healthy eating habits and return to a normal weight.

3) Family approach – the family approach is the most common when young people are being treated for an eating disorder.

4) Medication – there is no specific medicine for eating disorders. However, anti-depressants are sometimes used to help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Dr S.k.jha

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