Problems with eating spell quite a grave health situation on which various physical and psychological conditions may supervene. Involved are personal issues and attitudes to food, weight, body shape, and eating habits. If disorders set in on a regular basis, your health begins to cave in, your emotions and moods start to suffer, and your ability to cope with life’s daily challenges diminishes. Becoming chronic, eating problems require medical attention to prevent their large-scale interference with your life. Bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating are among the most widely-spread disorders; all of them can be cured if you set about it the right way. But what causes eating disorders?
Causes of eating disorders
It is not so easy with eating disorders, they cannot be put down to the same clear-cut cause. Rather, they spring up from a jumble of biological, mental and social aspects that play different roles for every individual.
Social aspects of the problem
The most frequent social aspects which can aggravate the situation are:
- socially acceptable standards of the “perfect” shape of the male/female body
- setting dieting habits aimed to achieve this current image of the “perfect” body
- urgent necessity to succeed in building the “perfect” body
- pressure from social groups to observe the set code of behavior
- following the established habit of judging people by looks and manner of dressing
- promoting kinds of sport and activities which help achieve the desired image, like Pilates, yoga, ballet, whatever is currently on.
Then, eating disorders could be developed owing to sudden and radical changes in life, for instance:
- strain in relationships
- landing a new job, moving to a new school, entering college
- getting pregnant, delivery
- death of somebody near and dear.
Underlying biological eating disorder causes may be as follows:
- passing through age milestones and ensuing body changes
- familial aspects like there existing the family history of relatives suffering from eating disorders.
Psychological aspects that can add to the condition may be:
- viewing your body as imperfect
- poor self-esteem
- striving to be impeccable
- chronic depression or frequent bouts of one
- chronic anxiety, laboring under stress
- uncontrollable behaviors
- body dysmorphic disorder
- unstoppable reflection
- inability or poor ability to express your emotions.
Certain environmental factors can contribute to the development of eating disorders. These may include childhood trauma, abuse, neglect, dysfunctional family dynamics, and a history of bullying or teasing related to weight or appearance.
What are the symptoms of eating disorders?
Realizing that a person has an eating disorder is impossible by the appearance alone – anyone can have such disorders regardless of what they look like. These individuals may be of any weight, while their attitude to foods and eating is far from normal, but set by some of the factors listed above.
You may not even recognize a disorder by symptoms – which oftentimes resemble those of keeping to a particular diet. Then again, the sufferer may choose not to voice their problems. Those who want to know for certain that someone they love developed an eating disorder, they should look out for the following signs:
- Changeable moods.
- Feeling faint, exhausted, or dizzy.
- Losing part or all of the hair.
- Need to go to bathroom rather often after a meal.
- Sudden changes of weight, rapid weight loss.
- Unaccounted sweating, hot flashes.
Other tale-telling signs may be:
- Insisting on eating alone, reluctance to eat in company.
- Staying away from pals, avoiding social events.
- Acquiring the habit of hiding or dumping food.
- Developing fixation on weight, calories, working out.
- Ritualistic attitude to eating like chewing for too long, or clandestine eating.
- Constant voicing of a deep concern over poor health and/or excessive weight and the desirability of dropping weight.
- Following some weird diet not advised by a dietitian or a qualified doctor.
- A person is fixated on calories counting and healthy foods, but they avoid social events like banquets, dining out with friends, partaking birthday or wedding cakes and so on.
- They never miss looking in the mirror on the lookout for possible blemishes.
- Devouring large meals on a regular basis.
- With weight loss in view, they use various herbal concoctions, dietary supplements, and stuff like that.
- They go in for a surprising amount of working out. Also, they wouldn’t miss the gym for anything – for social and friendly gatherings, even if they don’t feel well or sustain an injury.
- There is a necessity to adjourn to the toilet after eating or even during eating.
- When they talk about eating, it is with the underlying notes of guilt, shame, or depression.
What does one do to address eating disorders?
Of course, there being a variety of eating disorders, their treatments are very different. Those who developed an eating disorder, even when it hasn’t been diagnosed yet, can expect to be advised by a specialist and suggested several ways to address the issue. Some of the treatments are as follows:
Psychotherapy: consult a psychologist for deciding on the psychotherapy most suitable for your particular condition. For a lot of sufferers from eating disorders cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has proved its worth. By undertaking this therapy you will be able to understand why your food-related thinking patterns went wrong and how you can alter them to your benefit.
The Maudsley method: it is a family-targeted kind of therapy intended to deal with anorexic teenagers and their parents. Parents are taught healthier eating habits so they can control and guide their kid’s meals.
Medicinal treatment: many sufferers from eating disorders are afflicted with other issues, to mention, for one, chronic depression. Prescription of antidepressants and related medications can alleviate depression. That will lead to healthier thinking about your lifestyle and your eating habits.
Nutrition consulting: you can easily improve your meals and work out a nutritious eating scheme with the help of a registered specialist experienced in treating eating disorders. This professional can give useful advice on creating a diet, grocery shopping, and cooking.
In severe cases it’s advisable to combine all the aforementioned approaches in order to improve all the involved spheres – mental and physical – as well as rectify your eating-related social behavior.