Eating disorders are serious conditions that cause both physical and emotional damage. It can pose serious health problems. It not only affects the entire self-image but also causes permanent damage to the body. In most severe cases, eating disorders can cause complications that are life threatening.
Eating disorders involve extreme disturbances in eating behaviour- following rigid diets, gorging on food in secret, throwing up after meals, obsessively counting calories. Eating disorders involve negative thoughts and feelings that fuel damaging behaviours of the involved person. People with eating disorders use food to deal with uncomfortable and painful behaviour. Subsequently, people with eating disorder loose the ability to see themselves objectively and obsessions over food and weight come to dominate everything else in life.
There are several myths associated with eating disorders:
• You have to be underweight to have an eating disorder
• Only teenage girls and young women are affected by eating disorders
• People with eating disorders are vain
• Eating disorders aren’t really that dangerous
Common eating disorders warning signs:
• Preoccupation with body or weight
• Obsession with calories, food or nutrition
• Constant dieting, even when thin
• Rapid unexplained weight gain or weight loss
• Taking laxatives or diet pills
• Compulsive exercising
• Making excuses to get out of eating
• Avoiding social situations that involve food
• Going to the bathroom right after meals
• Eating alone, in night or in secret
• Hoarding high calorie food
Recovering from the eating disorder takes time. There are never quick fixes and miracle cures, so it’s important to have patience and compassion. Treatment for the eating disorder must address both its physical as well as the psychological aspect. Then only, the patients can come out it and eat the food as per his/her body demands.