Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses characterised by an unhealthy relationship with food, body shape, and weight. At least 9% of the total population across the world suffers from some form of disorder of eating. So, understanding the signs, symptoms, and treatments of these disorders is essential. The most common types of disorders of eating include Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder.
Anorexia nervosa is a disorder that is characterised by an intense fear of weight gain and an excessive restriction of food intake. People with anorexia typically display a distorted body image and intense preoccupation with their weight, shape, and size. They strive to reach an unrealistic bodyweight through drastic and dangerous methods, such as excessive exercise or self-induced vomiting.
Bulimia Nervosa for Eating Disorder
Bulimia nervosa is a disorder characterised by recurrent episodes of binge eating followed by compensatory behaviours such as induced vomiting, fasting, and excessive exercise. People with bulimia often feel out of control and are ashamed of their behaviours. They may also experience feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating is a disorder characterised by regular episodes of eating large amounts of food in a short space of time, often in an attempt to cope with difficult emotions such as stress and anxiety. People with binge eating disorder feel an intense sense of shame and guilt afterwards and may experience feelings of powerlessness and self-loathing.
Possible Treatments for Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are serious mental health issues and can be debilitating. Thankfully, there are a range of treatments and support available. Professional treatment is the most effective approach, and may include counselling, medication, and nutritional guidance. Additionally, there are various types of support available, such as support groups and online support. If you or someone you know is living with this disorder, it’s important to seek help. These disorders can be complex and can have serious physical, psychological and social consequences if not treated. Help is available and with the right treatment and support, it is possible to recover.