Eating disorders are a group of mental health conditions that affect body shape and size. They can be severe and life threatening. They can be diagnosed in people of any age. These conditions can be triggered by a number of factors, including environmental influences and genetics. Some individuals are more likely than others to develop eating disorders. If you think you may be suffering from one, it is important to seek help from a health care professional.
Most of the time, eating disorders occur in young adults. However, they can also affect people of any age, gender, and ethnicity. Individuals may suffer from binge eating, bulimia, and anorexia. There are many treatments for these disorders. In addition to physical treatment, psychological therapies can be effective in treating them.
Dieting and binge eating are both associated with a person’s emotions. People who struggle with these conditions feel out of control and unsatisfied with their bodies. Their feelings of self-esteem and shame often interfere with their eating habits. The symptoms of these disorders are often similar to other psychiatric conditions, such as anxiety and depression.
Eating disorders can be triggered by several factors, including life changes, social pressure, stress, and abuse. For example, if a person is moving, has a job change, or loses a loved one, these events can cause a person to be anxious. Peer pressure can take many forms, such as teasing and bullying, and they can lead to abnormal eating patterns.
Eating disorders are often accompanied by a psychological condition such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). This disorder can affect a person’s ability to cope with stressful situations. It can involve an obsession with perfection and oversensitivity to criticism. Those with this condition also tend to have impulsive behaviors, moral rigidity, and a need for admiration.
Other risk factors include ethnicity, gender, and race. Men are less likely to be diagnosed with anorexia or bulimia than women. Studies indicate that some groups of people, such as those in the artistic, athletic, and military communities, are at an increased risk of developing these disorders.
Eating disorders can also be caused by historical trauma. In the Fiji Islands, for example, western television introduced women to the concept of a thin body. Several studies have shown that women in the Fiji Islands felt “too fat” and were at risk of developing an eating disorder. As a result, some women began dieting and engaging in other unhealthy behaviors to lose weight.
People can become ill with eating disorders due to the effects that starvation can have on the body. Starvation causes a reduction in the brain’s functioning, which in turn increases the need for compensatory behaviors. A person’s eating behaviors can continue after starvation, resulting in binge eating, purging, and other eating disorders.
Individuals can develop anorexia or bulimia in response to a negative event, such as physical or sexual abuse, death, or trauma. For instance, a person who has been through an accident may begin to fear eating certain foods.