Millions of people in the world suffer from an eating disorder. For some people, it is an obviously dangerous condition, not only because of the bodyweight but also because how they speak shows a pathological relationship with food. Doctors, psychologists, or psychiatrists come across people who try to cover up their symptoms, either in open denial or under the cloak of relatively logical justifications. There are cases in which the possibility of an eating disorder is not even considered because they hide it so well. It is an important step to begin the therapeutic process by trying to recognize the symptoms, even for those who mask it well. You can ask for the assistance of a qualified therapist and get to the bottom of it.
The Dieting Culture
In a culture where diets are consistently recommended and extreme thinness has been idealized into optimal health and beauty, eating disorders (EDs) are increasingly common in both men and women. An eating disorder is a chronic illness that can cause serious digestive, metabolic, cardiovascular, bone, genital, and kidney complications that can even lead to death. It can also cause psychological and emotional damage.
Most Common Eating Disorders
The most common eating disorders are anorexia and bulimia, but there are others such as binge eating and vigorexia (excessive exercise). It is very difficult for people with a disorder to realize that they have a problem since weight loss is usually seen as a big accomplishment to many.
One of the characteristics of those who suffer from this type of disorder is that they seek at all costs to hide any strategy they use to stop eating or to “purge” after eating. Also, if someone finds out, denial will be imminent. Either way, it is very important to know how to detect an eating disorder, whether in a family member, a friend, or even in yourself.
How can you detect an eating disorder? The most common warning signs that will make you suspect the presence of this disorder are:
- Always saying you are fat, even when you are not
- Intense fear of gaining weight
- The distorted image of self
- Episodes of abusive food intake (binge eating). In these cases, people tend to eat more food every two hours than they would normally want
- Feeling of lack of control during a binge
- A feeling of not being able to avoid the urge to eat
- After the binge, a compensatory behavior to avoid weight gain. This behavior can be self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives, diuretics and enemas, or excessive physical exercise.
Two Symptoms Combined
If the binge/compensatory behavior episodes occur at least twice a week for three months, without a doubt, you can be sure there is the presence of an ED. It usually happens that two or more symptoms of this disorder appear at the same time, so that a person may be going through a period of anorexia, in which there is extreme thinness is and months later they may experience bulimia, where recovery weight could exceed that of what it was at the development of anorexia.
To get help in overcoming any type of eating disorders, it is recommended that you seek a Therapist Lakewood CO so you can get the right advice and professional assistance.