Eating Disorders can affect anyone:
People who suffer from an Eating Disorder worry about everything that they eat so much that it can control their life. It can stop them making realistic decisions about what they eat and how much they should eat.
People can develop Eating Disorders for a number of reasons, these include......
Psychological - Low self esteem, Depression, Anxiety, Loneliness, Anger, General dissatisfaction with life.
Interpersonal - Troubled family or personal relationships, History of sexual or physical abuse, Difficulty expressing emotions or feelings.
Social - Cultural norms that value people for their physical appearance, Media influence.
If they go undetected, eating disorders can cause real health problems as they stop the body getting all the essential energy and nutrients it needs to function properly. Remember that all sufferers of an Eating Disorder will not always have the same symptoms as someone else who has the same problem.
Sufferers of Anorexia Nervosa severly reduce the amount of food they eat due to fear of gaining weight. Some sufferers can eat nothing or fast for a number of days. people who have had the condition for a long time can lose a lot of weight and view their body size as being larger than their actual size. In severe cases, people can die from the effects of anorexia as normal functioning of the body is disturbed, especially if they do not seek help.
Bulimia Nervosa is different from Anorexia, as sufferers experience a lack of control in their eating habits and tend to eat large amounts of food in a short space of time. Inappropriate compensatory behaviours, such as self-induced vomitting, laxatives or excessive exercise are then used to prevent weight gain. This can happen from several times a day to every few months.
You may think that all eating disorders cause extreme weight loss, but people who have a Binge Eating Disorder can gain large amounts of weight because they binge on food during the day or continue to eat when they are not actually hungry. Binge Eating is usually in response to negative moods. Binge eaters can become obese and can develop problems with their heart, blood pressure and general level of fitness.