In modern society, many people are faced with issues surrounding their appearance, specifically their body weight. The desire to emulate and achieve an unattainable photo-shopped physique in a magazine has caused many people to develop an eating disorder. Despite what some may believe, an eating disorder is not a lifestyle choice, anyone can find themselves struggling with an eating disorder. An eating disorder is a mental illness that causes people to eat disproportionate amounts, such as excessively large or inadequate meals, due to their severe distress about their body weight and size.
The more commonly known eating disorders include Bulimia, Anorexia and even Binge Eating Disorder, everyone is susceptible to an eating disorder regardless of their gender, socioeconomic status, or religious affiliations. It can affect anyone, at any time, but many teens and young adults are affected by this disorder due to societal perceptions of the “perfect” physique for young men and women. Anyone that deviates from this perception of perfection are often mocked or ridiculed by their peers, colleagues and sometimes even their loved ones.
An eating disorder is a treatable illness, but the toll it can take on your body is detrimental to your health. An eating disorder can also coincide with another condition such as substance abuse, depression or even anxiety disorders.
Common Eating Disorders
Common indicators of Bulimia Nervosa include repetitive binge eating followed by self induced nausea, a disproportionate and excessive amount of exercise or excessive use of diuretics or laxatives. People who suffer from Bulimia often experience feelings of guilt and shame as they hide their condition and the severity of it from others. This condition can cause gastrointestinal issues as well as an electrolyte imbalance which will also affect your hydration levels.
Common indicators of Anorexia Nervosa will include a fanatical fear of weight gain as well as the outright rejection of maintaining a healthy body weight as people who suffer from anorexia nervosa will often possess an unrealistic image of what their body weight should be. This means that they will limit their food intake as much as possible in order to maintain the size that they feel is perfect, even if they are severely underweight. This condition can cause a variety of medical maladies such as brain damage as well as organ failure.
Binge Eating Disorder
Common indicators of Binge Eating Disorder include total loss of control over eating habits. This means that an individual will consume excessive amounts of food without thought and unlike with Bulimia, these over indulgent episodes are not followed by self induced nausea or excessive exercise. This condition will often lead to obesity and an increase in cardiovascular disease.
A good indicator as to whether or not you have a problem with your eating disorder is if you’re constantly dieting, regardless of the fact that you are severely underweight. However, you may find yourself in a love hate relationship with your body as your weight may fluctuate and this may cause you to reach for the nearest bottle of diet medication. This love hate relationship with food will ensure that you become dependent on your diet medication. While you may not consider the fact that you have an addiction to your diet medication, it can have a detrimental effect on your physical health as more often than not, diet pills contain various chemicals and stimulants. Studies show that almost 50% of people who suffer from an eating disorder also suffer with a substance abuse disorder. As it can interfere with the body’s natural functions many diet medications are classified as either schedule II or schedule IV drugs. Common names for diet medication that fall under the Controlled Substances Act include Didrex (Benzphetamine), Mazindol or Phentermine. While you may not regard your substance abuse as a primary issue, it needs to be treated before you can overcome your eating disorder. Your addiction to diet medications or other substances could be what is fueling your eating disorder.
An eating disorder is not an easy illness to overcome as food will always be your best friend and your worst enemy. By entering a rehabilitation center that will focus on you as an individual and provide you with a treatment plan best suited to your specific needs, you can overcome your eating disorder. At Connections Addiction Treatment Center, we will do a fully comprehensive eating disorder assessment and we will ensure that you receive the best recommendations and the best possible care in order to help you lead a happy and healthy life.