The number of people who suffer from an eating disorder is very high and is increasing rapidly. People of all ages, genders, geographical location and cultures are being affected by this. There is enough evidence to show the terrible effects eating disorder can have on your health. While most people consider is a bad eating habit, the truth is very different. It is a psychological problem that can lead to serious health issues and even fatality. Although if eating indulgence is diverted to healthy eating options, binge eating helps psychologists in treating patients. Many factors contribute to the development of negative eating habits which can grow in a full-blown condition. Psychological factors like difficult family life, excessive stress, post-traumatic stress, etc are prominent contributors. This write up is aimed at giving you ample information to identify eating disorders so that you seek help in time.
Types of eating disorders
Three basic disorders are defined in psychology. These disorders have clear symptoms and visible effects on your health.
In this condition, the patients consider themselves obese even if they are not. This leads to eating lesser than required or absolutely no eating. Even thin people give up food considering that they are over-weight.
Binge eating disorder
This is attributed to continuous episodes of uncontrolled eating which lead to weight gain.
In this condition, people tend to eat in excess and then clean up their bodies by different means including vomiting and the use of laxatives.
Other eating disorder
There are other kinds of disorders that do not fall into any of the above-mentioned categories. These food-related disorders are also stimulated by psychological triggers.
The most prominent physical sign is the change in body weight. You can experience either weight gain or weight loss in abnormal proportions. There could be an imbalance in the electrolytes in the body which makes you exhausted. Scars on hands, teeth erosion and acid reflux are also common. You may also see irregular or absence of periods.
Almost all types of eating disorders are accompanied by low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and guilt. There is often a feeling of fear and loss of control. People may also associate self-worth with body weight and deny eating.
Altered eating behavior
This is the most obvious sign to identify an eating disorder. Oftentimes people might eat too much or do not eat at all. Along with the eating proportions, the frequency of eating also changes. Sometimes people may opt for scheduled binge eating or follow over-eating with purging. People may get involve in secretive eating. These symptoms become apparent generally within a week. They can last for months if not addressed promptly.
Issues related to body image
People with an eating disorder often become too concerned about their body appearance. They strive to look perfect and often result in disgust regarding own body. In spite of ample evidence, they may consider themselves over-weight. This leads to low self-esteem and worsens the condition.
Eating disorder makes people withdraw from their public appearances and interactions. In some cases, they can keep the relationships while in others they completely pull out. They are become too defensive and try to shun disagreement at any cost.