What are 3 common reasons why people have eating disorders?
Eating disorders are serious and often fatal mental health conditions that cause unhealthy eating habits and can be hard to treat. They affect people of all ages, racial/ethnic backgrounds and body sizes.
Some of the most common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. Each has its own symptoms, and a doctor can diagnose you based on your physical and psychological conditions.
Anorexia nervosa: This is the most common type of eating disorder, which causes people to drastically restrict their food intake. They may also be obsessed with their body weight, which can lead to extreme self-criticism about their appearance. This disorder can lead to severe malnutrition and medical complications.
Binge-eating disorder: This is a common eating disorder that includes feelings of a lack of control over eating and binge-eating episodes at least once a week. These episodes are usually sudden and large, but sometimes they can be smaller.
Other eating disorders:
There are many other types of eating disorders that can have similar symptoms to those of the three most common diagnoses (Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder). Some of them include avoidant restrictive food intake disorder or ARFID, formerly known as selective eating disorder.
Another condition is atypical anorexia, which occurs in children who do not have distorted body images or fears of gaining weight. Atypical anorexia is not as serious as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, but it can lead to malnutrition.
Atypical anorexia is more common in childhood than in adults and can cause a person to become malnourished, have low energy levels and poor mental health. It can also lead to low self-esteem and difficulty socializing.
Genetics: Research shows that people with first degree relatives, such as siblings or parents, who have an eating disorder are more likely to develop it than those without a family history of the condition. Researchers are working to identify variations in genes that can contribute to eating disorders.
Environment: Cultural pressures that idealize certain body types can be a big reason why some people develop an eating disorder. These pressures can be very strong, especially in the teen years.
Peer pressure can also be a major factor. Some teens are bullied or teased because they don’t fit into the societal standards of thinness and/or muscularity.
Other risk factors can include anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and traumatic events like sexual abuse or neglect. If you think a loved one has an eating disorder, seek help as soon as possible to ensure their best chance for recovery.
Eating disorders can be treated successfully with counseling and medication. Your doctor or an eating disorders specialist can help you determine the type of treatment that is right for you and your particular situation.
The goal of treatment is to teach you healthy eating habits and ways to cope with stress. A specialist may prescribe medication for specific problems or treat you with a combination of therapy and medications to help regulate your emotions and reduce anxiety.