Anorexia and Bulimia are eating disorders that can be life-threatening if not curbed early. People who have anorexia reduce their food intake to the barest minimum, while those with bulimia eat excessively for a short time, after which they try to prevent themselves from gaining weight by purging or by trying other unhealthy means.
As much as these disorders are related to physical health because they lead to malnutrition, we cannot neglect the psychological effects that result in them and the aftermath of these disorders on the affected person’s mental health.
Anorexia patients fear gaining any slight weight, not to talk of obesity, and they have a warped view of body weight. So, to remain slim, they starve themselves, which then results in abnormally low body weight, while bulimia patients eat a large amount of food with no control over the food, then they try to get rid of the excess calories in an unhealthy way. This shows that these eating disorders are not just about the physical body only.
Causes of Anorexia and Bulimia
Although the exact causes of these disorders are unknown, there are some factors that contribute to one having any of these disorders, such as:
People who obsess over dieting are at a greater risk of developing eating orders like anorexia and bulimia. Bulimia patients have what we call binge episodes, which make them eat a lot of food in a short period and then seek unhealthy means to get rid of the calories. And these episodes can be triggered by a low self-image, stress, food, and even boredom.
- Biological Factors
Obesity can lead to either of these eating disorders. Not only this, genetic changes and genetic traits like perfectionism, perseverance, and sensitivity can push one to develop these eating disorders. Also, a history of eating disorders in a family should not be taken lightly.
- Psychological Factors
Depression, substance abuse, anxiety disorders, traumatic incidents, obsessive-compulsive personality traits, extreme drive for perfectionism, poor self-image, and bullying are psychological factors that can lead to these eating disorders.
Treatment of Anorexia and Bulimia
Since these eating disorders are directly linked to our psychology, the clinician’s advice to treating it or preventing it is going for therapy. Demi Lovato says: “eating disorders are serious mental illness, not lifestyle choices.” Therefore, it is important to seek professional help when you discover you or a loved one has any of these eating disorders.
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