We have all come across words like eating disorders in a casual setting. Words like anorexic, bulimic etc. are often incorrectly used to describe a person usually because very few of us have the factual information of the eating disorder.
What is an eating disorder?
An eating disorder is a mental disorder characterized by abnormal eating habits that negatively affect a person’s mental and or physical health. Common disorders include Anorexia Nervosa where the food consumption remains very low due to the person’s fear of gaining weight; Bulimia which involves binge eating and then forcefully expelling it from the body; Binge eating disorder.
What causes an eating disorder?
Prevention & treatment of eating disorder
Early identification of the disorder before it is too late to treat can be achieved by preventive measures like:
- Emotional bites: Talking to young children and adults about why they eat besides hunger and then how to curb emotional eating.
- Instilling positive body image and emphasizing on the wrongness of teasing someone about their body.
- Emphasizing on listening to one’s body i.e. eating only when you’re hungry and stopping once you’re full.
- Emphasizing on the importance of fitness.
Therapy like art therapy, music therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and psychotherapy have shown very good results in patients.
Despite the stigma surrounding mental illnesses in India , there are various organizations and charities like Eating Disorder Hope that provide support to ED patients by providing them with emotional support in the form of support groups and financial support in some cases as well.
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