EATING DISORDERS

The ideal woman exhibits a thin figure with just the right curves. The ideal man is one with a slim, muscular build. Anything else? Not good enough. This is the stance generally taken by viciously influential media outlets that corrupt how we think about our appearance.

 

Compound that with the fact that in the South Asian community, the likelihood of a successful marriage can be dependent on a mere few photos of you being sent to potential partners. What if you aren’t attractive enough? Better luck next time? Or maybe you could take matters into your own hands and alter your appearance by changing your eating habits. Maybe that might make people think more highly of your appearance?

Wrong! Everyone deserves to feel beautiful. No matter your weight, your skin color, your ethnicity, or any other distinguishing factor. That’s actually what makes you unique! The information below elaborates upon eating disorders.

 

We strongly urge that you don’t think any less of yourself just because society paints a deliberately skewed picture of what beautiful is. Treat your body well. Eat healthy. Exercise. Most importantly, though, never resort to any measures that drastically compromise your health.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Types

  • Anorexia Nervosa

    • Among the most dangerous mental illnesses, anorexia nervosa is characterized by a mindset that encourages starvation to promote weight loss.

    • Individuals suffering from this condition will take any measure necessary to prevent weight gain, including not only malnourishment, but activities like rigorous exercise as well. As time progresses, anorexic people can suffer from various physiological complications such as organ failure, thinning of bones, infertility, and even death.

  • Bulimia Nervosa

    • Slightly less severe than anorexia is bulimia, which involves uncontrollable periods of food consumption followed by a need to engage in self-destructive behavior such as self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives, or rigorous exercise.

    • Similar to anorexia, bulimia also generates from insecurities related to body image and weight gain. Health consequences that can result from taking such actions include an inflamed sore throat, tooth decay, gastrointestinal problems, and dehydration, among other difficulties.

  • Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

    • BED is the most common eating disorder in the U.S. and is characterized by uncontrollable episodes of binge-eating.

    • However, with this condition, there generally isn’t any self-correcting behavior such as those exhibited from individuals with bulimia. For that reason, individuals suffering from BED are generally overweight, and are susceptible to experiencing cardiovascular complications, among other health risks.

 

 

 

 

 

General Risk Factors

  1. Genetics/family history of eating disorders

  2. Age—Although anyone can develop eating disorders, those that are in their teens and twenties are much more vulnerable to such conditions

  3. Gender—Women express a much higher rate of suffering from an eating disorder than men

  4. Altered brain activity

    • Brain imaging studies have shown that the interactions of various regions of the brain differ between individuals suffering from eating disorders and those that do not

  5. Physical or verbal abuse, especially that which is related to body image or appearance

  6. Pursuing careers or endeavors that encourage a thin physique, such as acting, modeling, ballet, and gymnastics

  7. Cultural pressures (as mentioned above)

 

Treatment

  1. Psychotherapy

  2. Nutritional counseling

  3. Joining support groups

  4. Mood stabilizing medications

  5. Getting educated on the condition and understanding that there are manageable steps that can be taken to return to a normal, healthy lifestyle

Sources/links we utilized

Credit: Crash Course Psychology

© 2019 by MannMukti