An eating disorder is an intense mental disorder, characterised as an uncontrollable obsession of an individual concerning food, shape or weight and being a distressing, unhealthy preoccupation of a person s life. Eating disorders are more common than we think. The British Household Surveys shows that 10% of the population suffer from one form of eating disorder or another. This figure is higher than many other mental conditions. The difference between this and a common cold is that the cold will run away and the disorder stays with you, whereas the eating disorder remains with you until you seek help.
There are many warning signs of an eating disorder. These include an overall dissatisfaction with your appearance; an overactive digestive system; an inflated self-esteem; an obsession with food and weight that would make you consider starving yourself to death; an obsession with food that often come across as a form of purging; an obsession with dieting and weight loss that go out of control; and an endless routine of dieting and exercising. These warning signs should not be ignored, since if left unchecked, these problems can grow into severe psychological issues. If any of the warning signs are present, it is best to seek treatment to get help for the eating disorder.
Eating disorders are classified into two types, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder where one suffers from an extreme fear of gaining too much weight and being overweight. Anorexic individuals often engage in self-induced starvation or vomiting, where they will frequently obsess about their normal weight, often obsessing about amounts of calories and obsessiveness about body shape, which may lead to the development of medical conditions like diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease. People who suffer from bingeing on foods are most likely suffering from anorexia.
The second type of eating disorder that is recognized by many health professionals is the bulimia nervosa disorder. Individuals who are suffering from bulimia engage in binge eating in an excessive amount, which leads to the expulsion of large amounts of food through either vomiting or other means. However, this does not necessarily equate to health problems, as the small portion consumed is usually used to burn off calories. However, when an excessive number of calories are expelled, this can result in a number of medical conditions that can include organ failure, heart disease and excessive fat deposition.
While the eating disorder of bulimia can lead to serious health problems, there are also a number of positive benefits associated with this unhealthy lifestyle choice. Anorexia sufferers have less body fat and a smaller waistline, which result in an overall sense of body image improvement and confidence. The individuals who engage in extreme dieting also tend to have a healthier scalp, hair and nails and they tend to develop better skin tone. This is because the intense dieting causes the hair follicles to be destroyed over time and they do not regrow hair in their place. While dieting can be a benefit to individuals suffering from weight loss and health issues, this extreme lifestyle choice can also lead to self-harm as well.
Those who suffer from an eating disorder may find themselves trying to convince others that they are in fact healthy, even when they are not, which can lead to low self-esteem and poor body image. A healthy, thin individual will have a better body image than a person who is fat or overweight and can enjoy all the physical aspects of life without any complications. The difference between the thin person and the overweight individual who are struggling to keep their weight in check is solely the perception of their body image.
Many mental health professionals believe that eating disorders, especially depression, anxiety disorder and bulimia nervosa, can be a gateway into other health related issues. They can worsen existing conditions, which can in turn lead to higher levels of stress and possible depression and anxiety, eventually leading to self-harm or suicide. Eating disorders can affect anyone from teenage children to adult women and can wreak havoc on the lives of those who suffer from them. Those who suffer from eating disorders should seek medical attention for their condition as soon as possible and work closely with their doctors and therapists to overcome the problem.
Eating disorders have become such a common problem in the US that there are many people who have never even heard of the condition. There are many warning signs that one might experience if they are suffering from an eating disorder such as severe body acne, rapid weight loss and swelling around the face and neck. If someone notices any of these symptoms persisting, they should seek treatment immediately. An eating disorder can lead to many health complications and should not be allowed to get out of hand. Anyone who has signs of being anorexic, bulimic, depressed, anxious, bipolar or a compulsive eater should seek medical help as soon as possible to avoid complications in the future.