You may think that your eating patterns are normal. But! Don’t be so sure. It might not. There is no single cause of eating disorders. Body dissatisfaction, dieting, and depression are common risk factors for the onset of an eating disorder. Eating disorders can be overcome with professional help and support from family and peers.
Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses. They can affect people of all age groups, genders, backgrounds and cultures. The number of people with eating disorders is increasing. We understand more about eating disorders now than ever before. Yet, many people live with these disorders for a long time without a clinical diagnosis or treatment.
A.Symptoms of eating disorders
There are some warning signs that are common to people with eating disorders. These may include:
B.Types of eating disorders
The main types of an eating disorder include:
C.Causes of eating disorders
Social factors. Contributing social factors may include:
Major life changes or events may also contribute to the onset of an eating disorder, including:
Eating disorders can also be triggered by the accumulation of many minor stressors such as:
Biological factors. Contributing biological factors may include:
Psychological factors. Contributing psychological factors may include:
D.If you think you have an eating disorder
Many people have problems with their eating. If you do have an eating disorder, it is important to seek help. Remember that with support from health professionals, eating disorders can be recovered.
Getting professional help and support from others is important. Recovery may be slow as you learn to approach food in a more positive way and understand the reasons for your behaviour, but the effort will be worthwhile.
E.Family and friends of someone with an eating disorder
Parents, siblings, partners, friends, extended family, work colleagues and others often experience many different feelings as they learn to cope with the effects of an eating disorder on the person, and on their own lives. The strain of living with an eating disorder can create tensions and divisions within a family. There may be feelings of confusion, grief, anger, guilt and fear.
Family and friends can remind their loved ones that the effort associated with recovery will be worthwhile for everyone. The most important thing is to show love, care and faith in the person, and seek advice at the earliest possible time.
F.Treatment and recovery for people with eating disorders
Many different forms of therapy are available. It is important to remember that different approaches work for different people. Finding the right approach and early intervention maximises prospects of recovery. Professional help and support from others are important.
Because eating disorders affect people physically and mentally, a range of health professionals might be involved in treatment, including: