Body image plays a vital role in today’s generation. One of the highly emerging fatal conditions which directly affect the body physically and mentally is eating disorder. When food and weight is the only thing in mind, it becomes harder to center on the other perspectives of your life, it may indicate the early signs of an eating disorder. Eating disorder consists of a group of related condition which causes severe emotional, behavioral, mental and physical issues. These are serious mental ailments that has most noteworthy mortality rate of any psychiatric diseases.
Following are the main Eating Disorders which when detected needs a proper intervention.
- Bulimia Nervosa: It involves binging on large amount of food or overeating in small period of time then compensating for it by forced vomiting, use of laxative or diuretics or by some other way to lose whatever is being taken in. They may suffer from major health issues such as severe dehydration, gastro intestinal disorder, kidney issues, and electrolyte imbalances causing heart problems as well as injuring effect on throat, mouth, teeth from forced vomiting. Here the person somehow tries to keep their weight in control but in a very harsh manner.
- Anorexia Nervosa: In today’s age of maintaining a perfect body image for the social platform which has spread like a wildfire, anorexia nervosa has being rated as the highest mortality of any mental disorder. The individual here feels they are overweight even if their weight is normal or below normal, which causes disastrous effect on their mental wellbeing as well as the internal body system. They drastically reduce or limit their food intake, eat very small quantities of limited food or exercise unusually at a high rate to reduce their already low weight. They suffer from complication like starvation, low self esteem, lethargy, low blood pressure, severe constipation, anemia all these leading to major illnesses like heart disorders, brain damage, suicidal tendencies, infertility, multi organ failure..
- Binge eating disorder: Binge eating is where a person loses his control on eating timings and quantity. The person is normally overweight as they tend to eat unusually large amount of food in short interval, eat even when not hungry or even when they feel full, eat in any situation like when happy, sad, distressed, and nervous, fear etc. Unlike bulimia, here the person doesn’t compensate to loose the weight but sulks and feel guilty about overeating, which further damages the self esteem and positive body image maintenance. Here they normally suffer from obesity which further increases the chance of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, heart problems etc.
- Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID): In this disorder the person does not eat food enough to have a healthy lifestyle which leads to physical, social and mental dysfunction. Here unlike the anorexia nervosa, the person does not have fear of gaining weight or body image but simply has no interest in eating or is very picky in selecting food for the fear of vomiting, choking etc.
What can help the person suffering from eating disorder?
There are 3 ways of doing so:
- Psychotherapy and counseling: Being supportive, encouraging and caring in talking about the issue, lending an ear to listen to their problems will help them to take a chance in recovery. One may take help of an individual, family, group or organization addressing the similar problems. Stress management, relaxation technique, confidence building etc. will help the most in these situations.
- Being controlling what they eat and time.
- Being extremely pushy, threatening or judgmental
- Focusing on their food habits and food talks.
- Nutritional care: This would help in planning and reestablishing the diet plan for the person suffering from any eating disorder. Weight restoration is of utmost importance in specially anorexia and ARFID. Nutritional support from the expert will help in rebuilding the lost stamina and confidence.
Medication and external treatments: Medical support is definitely needed when complications are associated. Constipation, gastric troubles etc. needs to be checked with medication. Health issues have to be addressed on urgent basis. Various weight management therapies further help in building the lost hope and the positive body image.