Food is used as a coping mechanism
There are three major types of eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. What they’ve all got in common is that the sufferer uses food and their weight as a way of coping with any problems or difficulties they might be having.
Eating disorders are a serious mental health issue
Eating disorders affect up to 5% of the population and are a serious concern. Some people wrongly dismiss them as fads or phases that teenagers go through but this is inappropriate as eating disorders can destroy lives. In fact, 10% of anorexics die of complications of the disease or suicide – this is the highest fatality ratio of any mental health disorder.
Mental health disorders are just as serious as physical disorders
We all know that physical conditions such as a broken arm or leg need to be taken seriously, yet many people don’t treat mental health issues such as eating disorders with the seriousness that they warrant. In fact, these disorders should be taken MORE seriously than physical complaints if anything because without the correct support and treatment they can have a huge impact on the sufferer’s quality of life for many years.
Eating disorders sufferers are often unaware of the extent of their problem
It is quite common for eating disorders sufferers to deny the fact that they have a problem at all. Anorexics will often claim that they are overweight and dismiss concerns about their low weight, whilst bulimics often consider their purging to be a suitable method of weight control. For this reason it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of eating disorders as not all sufferers are likely to flag issues themselves or ask for support.
Food, shape and weight become an unhealthy obsession
All eating disorders pivot around food, shape and weight. This is exhibited differently in the different disorders, an anorexic might do everything they can to consume less than 100 calories in a day whilst a binge eater may be unable to stop themselves eating a hundred times this in an hour. But either way, food, body shape and weight become a huge focus in the lives of people suffering from an eating disorder.
Eating disorders can affect anyone
Eating disorders are without prejudice. They affect the young and the old, the black and the white, boys and girls, low achievers and high achievers. There are certain stereotypes about the types of people who suffer from eating disorders and the reason for this is because there are certain groups of people who are more likely to suffer eating disorders than their peers, but ANYONE can be affected and it’s often sufferers from the minority groups who go unnoticed as no one is looking out for signs of disordered eating in them and will often assume that any symptoms noticed are due to something else.
Eating disorders are not all about appearances
Popular culture will have us believe that eating disorders are the result of a young person’s obsession with being thin and beautiful like celebrities. Whilst some sufferers do have this aim in mind, the disease is far more complicated than that. It’s often all about control. By depriving herself of calories, your typical anorexic is often taking control of her life and her body in the only way she knows how. She is not simply trying to get herself slim enough to grace the pages of Heat Magazine.
If you would like further support, Pooky can deliver an eating disorder training session at your school or college.
You may also be interested in other free eating disorder resources I have uploaded: [gallery_bank type=”individual” format=”masonry” title=”true” desc=”false” responsive=”true” animation_effect=”fadeIn” album_title=”true” album_id=”3″] [gallery_bank type=”individual” format=”masonry” title=”true” desc=”false” responsive=”true” animation_effect=”fadeIn” album_title=”true” album_id=”4″]