Do you find yourself or someone around you eating under stress? Can’t swallow a bite in a social situation? With the pressure that has been put on body image, diet and eating patterns, there are more and more people suffering from eating disorders every year. Unfortunately, there is not only a lack of awareness, but also a lack of how to manage these disorders.
What are eating disorders?
Eating disorders are a group of psychological conditions that result in or trigger poor eating behaviors and patterns in people. “It can be caused by a traumatic event, or it can be caused by a major hormonal change, such as postpartum, or it can also be a symptom or part of other psychological disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, ADHD, separation anxiety, survivor’s guilt and even incidents like bullying. and cyber shaming,” says Manun Thakur, MD, Veda Rehab & Wellness.
Thakur notes the six types of eating disorders, which are as follows:
- Anorexia nervosa – It comes from a frenzy like obsession with checking what you eat and fear of an unjustified obese body image
- Bulimia nervosa – A pattern of binge eating, usually triggered by personal factors, and then going to extreme lengths to lose that weight. This can also affect your bowel and body functions and be life-threatening.
- Binge eating disorder – frequent overeating, which may or may not stem from an incident, most likely as a coping mechanism or coping mindset.
- Pica – Aggressive response or a mean without a possible cause. Involves craving and chewing on substances that have no nutritional value, such as ice, clay, soil, or paper
- Rumination Disorder – A condition in which a person spits up food from the stomach, chews it again, and either swallows it again or spits it out. It tends to appear within 30 minutes of each meal.
- Food avoidance/restriction disorder – restricting certain types of food or eating foods that cause nutritional loss or pain
How to screen for eating disorders
Pay close attention to drastic changes in weight, triggers that cause you to fall into extreme eating or dieting patterns, constant preoccupation with food, diet or body image, or any of the symptoms mentioned above.
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Overcoming eating disorders
Acceptance – Once you identify your symptoms, know that you are not alone. Trust someone and don’t be afraid to reach out.
Practice self-compassion and kindness – Feelings of inferiority and low confidence must be faced with kindness and compassion for one’s body and mind.
Seek professional help: “People with eating disorders can also experience anxiety and depression. Therefore, seeking professional help from the best psychologists and psychiatrists is extremely crucial not only to help navigate but also to greatly help you live a confident life with a secure body image and mind and healthy body”, opines Thakur.
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