About Eating Disorders

By Dr. Coco

April 1, 2023

Eating disorders are a serious mental health issue that can affect people of all ages and genders. They are characterized by an unhealthy relationship with food and the body, leading to extreme physical and psychological consequences. Eating disorders can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetic predisposition, environmental influences, and psychological issues. Unfortunately, the prevalence of eating disorders is on the rise among young adults in particular.

At its core, an eating disorder is an unhealthy relationship with food and/or body image. People suffering from an eating disorder may restrict their caloric intake to dangerously low levels or engage in binge-eating behavior as a way to cope with emotional distress. Other common symptoms include excessive exercising, purging (self-induced vomiting), or using laxatives or diet pills to control weight. These behaviors can lead to severe medical complications such as organ failure and malnutrition, as well as psychological issues such as depression and anxiety.

The exact cause of eating disorders is not known; however, there are several risk factors that have been identified which may increase someone’s likelihood of developing an eating disorder. Genetics can play a role in determining whether someone is predisposed to developing an eating disorder; however, environmental influences also play a huge role in shaping how we think about our bodies and food. For example, media images often promote unrealistic body ideals which can lead some people to strive for unattainable goals when it comes to their own appearance. Additionally, peer pressure from friends or family members may contribute to disordered eating behaviors. Finally, underlying psychological issues such as low self-esteem or perfectionism may also be at play when it comes to developing an eating disorder.

Unfortunately, the prevalence of eating disorders has been steadily increasing over the past few decades – particularly among young adults aged 18-25 who are facing increased pressure from academic performance expectations or career aspirations. This age group is especially vulnerable due to their increased access to social media platforms which often promote unrealistic beauty standards that many feel they cannot live up to without engaging in disordered behaviors such as crash dieting or excessive exercise routines.

Fortunately, there are treatments available for those suffering from an eating disorder which focus on addressing the underlying causes of the disorder while also providing support for individuals during recovery. Treatment typically involves individual psychotherapy sessions with a qualified therapist who specializes in treating eating disorders along with nutritional counseling and possibly medication if needed for additional support during recovery. It is important for loved ones of those suffering from an eating disorder to provide emotional support throughout treatment so that individuals feel less alone during this difficult time in their lives

Eating disorders are serious mental health issues that should not be taken lightly; however, with proper treatment and support they can be managed successfully over time. It is important for those struggling with disordered behaviors related to food or body image perception seek help sooner rather than later so that they can begin their journey towards recovery before any further harm is done both physically and psychologically