Eating disorders are complex mental illness. People who suffer from this, experience disturbance in their food consumption which leads to related thoughts and emotions. According to American Psychiatric Association, “eating disorders affect several million people at any given time, most often women between the ages of 12 and 35”. These kinds of people often get obsessed with their food and body weight. Somewhere, you must also have met or seen people who are always too critical about their body image. They have a hard time accepting themselves as they are. Those people wouldn’t even know but, maybe, they suffer from eating disorders. People with this complex disorder also fears ‘weight gain’ and starve themselves to near-death. Eating disorders are categorised into three main disorders – Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa & Binge Eating Disorder. Therefore, this is an illness not a choice.
You must know, there are many reasons behind the formation of this serious disorder. If you or any of your loved one is suffering from the disorder, you should know these mentioned reasons –
I. Influence of Culture
This is one of the major factor responsible in shaping our mindset over body image. Over the years, we have been raised to see thin body (for women) and muscular body (for men) shape as a perfect body shape. There are very few people who even know that body shape of men and women can be of many shapes. Over emphasis on appearance has always been in our society. Due to this, many people get overwhelmed or obsessed with weight leading to see themselves as “too fat”. They will apply quick-schemes of losing weight instead of managing their weight in a healthy way. Somehow, they will also begin to starve themselves for no-good-reason.
II. Under Genetics
Genetics contributes in the development of our body. According to studies, it has been found that the illness of eating disorders generally occurs to a person when it runs in the family. Subsequently, it have high rates in identical twins than any other siblings.
III. Psychological Factors
According to the studies, in most of the cases other disorders, such as clinical depression, obsessive compulsive disorder or alcohol abuse, may contribute to eating disorders. People coping up from fears or anxiety generally have low-esteem, perfectionism, trouble in overcoming/expressing emotions. They also experience restlessness towards the situations.
Complexity of this disorder might also occur through disturbance in surroundings. People might had bad experiences in the past which makes them creating boundaries around them. Under pressure, activities linked to eating disorders increases. Also, some contributing factors might be –
Family/other relationship problems
Gone through physical/sexual abuse
Experienced bullying because of body image
V. In the State of Stress
Stress leads to major health issues. It affects both physically as well as mentally. People with eating disorders might experience abnormality of chemical reaction happening in their body which often leads to mood swings and stress. Also, people under constant state of stress experience the symptoms.
Remember… eating disorder is a serious illness, not a choice!