Eating Disorders – What Are They?

Eating disorders- such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge-Eating disorder are all insidious, imprisoning, and pervasive. They are illnesses in which one suffers severe disturbances in their eating behaviors, related thoughts and emotions. It permeates all aspects of each sufferer’s life and has profound effects on the individuals suffering and their loved ones. Once “it” has its grips on you or someone you love, the sun stops shining and the flowers seem to stop blooming. Being with that eating disorder becomes the only thing that matters. It is a diet that never ends. But while it may begin with a preoccupation with food, shape, and weight, it becomes about much more than food. Sufferers most often use food and the control of food in an attempt to compensate for feelings and emotions that may otherwise seem too overwhelming.

Eating disorders involve intense preoccupation with behaviors and rituals surrounding food- obsessively counting calories, binging on food in secret, throwing up after eating, following rigid diets, but again these disorders go far deeper than being just about food. The constant intrusive thoughts surrounding body, weight, and food issues can inevitably lead to isolation, secrecy, depression, self-mutilation, substance and alcohol abuse, and even social phobias. But don’t get me wrong, depression, anxiety, loneliness, trauma, difficulty expressing feelings, genetics, media and cultural pressures, troubled family and personal relationships, fear and refusal to grow up, substance and alcohol abuse are also vulnerability factors that may contribute to the development of an eating disorder. There is no single cause and they affect individuals on a physical, emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual level. As one may be seeking control through food, the truth is the food is actually controlling them and they are therefore losing control.

Eating disorders have no discrimination; they are found in every culture, religion, ethnicity, and socio-economic group. In a majority of cases, eating disorders occur together with other psychological disorders, such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and alcohol and drug abuse. Although, symptoms of these disorders usually begin in adolescence, there are many signs present long before. But unfortunately, how would one know if they don’t even know what they are looking for? But it IS NEVER TOO LATE to get help. Eating disorders are a serious illness that can have life-threatening consequences. BUT YOU CAN GET THE HELP YOU NEED…

Leave a Reply