Eating disorders are a group of psychological illnesses that lead to the development of poor eating habits. They may begin with food, body weight, or body form obsession.
Eating disorders can manifest themselves in a variety of ways. The majority, however, include severe dietary restriction, eating binges, or purging behaviours such as vomiting or over-exercising.
An eating disorder affects approximately 9% of the Australian population. Eating disorders affect people of all ages, socio-economic backgrounds, and all shapes and sizes.
1. Eating disorders are severe illnesses.
Eating disorders are real mental illnesses with severe consequences. Each disease has established diagnostic criteria. The Diagnostic of an eating disorder is to reference for mental healthcare professionals. Another reason to be concerned about eating disorders is that they can be deadly.
Anorexia nervosa is the psychiatric condition with the greatest fatality rate. Anorexia nervosa patients aged 15 to 24 years old are 12 times more likely to die from the illness than any other reason.
2. Eating disorders develop at a young age.
Eating disorders can start as early as the teenage years and develop as early as 12. The average age at which they grow is 17 years old. An eating disorder affects between five and ten per cent of young women.
3. Eating disorders are just about food.
Eating disorders are characterised by an obsession with calories, weight, or shape, and they are also characterised by biological and psychological factors. Restriction, bingeing, purging, or excessive exercise are all signs of an attempt to keep a substance out of one’s life.
Because friends and family mistakenly think that eating disorders are simply a food issue; they frequently advise their loved ones to “just eat more,” “just eat less,” or “just eat healthier” to be “cured” of the condition. In reality, full recovery from eating disorders often needs a combination of medical, psychological, therapeutic, and dietary intervention.
4. Once you gain weight, then everything will be expected.
It’s critical to realise that an eating disorder is about more than just weight or food. One of the essential aspects of your recovery is mental health care. You’ll need assistance regulating your emotions and thoughts about eating enough food. This is why, in the treatment of eating disorders, having a mental health specialist such as a counsellor or therapist is so essential.
5. Eating disorders don't develop until the teenage years.
According to research, up to 60% of girls aged 6 to 12 are anxious about their weight or getting overly fat, and this fear continues throughout their lives.
Eating problems in youngsters are on the rise, which is predictable. According to a study, hospitalisations for eating disorders in children aged 12 and younger increased by 119%.
6. Only the thinnest persons suffer from an eating disorder.
In many cases, the misconception that an eating disorder may only arise in extremely thin people leads to misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, even among individuals seeking help from medical and mental health specialists. Unfortunately, many healthcare practitioners lack exposure to and training in eating disorders, emphasising the significance of eating disorder experts in providing successful treatment and early intervention.
Parents should follow their instinct about eating disorders in their children and learn basic eating disorder facts and distinguishing myth from fact. Consult an eating disorder professional as soon as possible if you have a problem. Early intervention is crucial for long-term recovery from eating disorders.
7. Eating Disorders Raise the Chances of Death
Bulimia nervosa can cause high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gall bladder disease, diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer due to eating disorders. All of these diseases are hazardous to one’s health.
How can we help:
Eating disorders are real diseases that can affect anyone. They are not just specific to women, but they primarily affect women. Eating disorders can be cured with the proper treatment. Don’t be scared to ask for help from an expert.