Eating Disorder

30 May, 2021 (Consolace Counselling Services)

 Are you on a healthy diet or suffering from an eating disorder?

You are rushing back home after a long day at work, and the first thought that comes to you is, “What do I have for dinner?”. Food is fuel for body, but it is crucial to have a healthy and balanced diet for a fit body and mind. When food is consumed without responding to hunger cues and fullness cues, we end-up being over-weight or under-weight. A person with an Eating Disorder become overly conscious about body-image, weight and food, and thereby try to adopt some adverse steps to fight this emotional state. Some individuals resort to emotional eating to fill their void of emptiness, loneliness (https://www.consolace.com/article-alienation) or even to combat stress (https://www.consolace.com/article-srtess-free-life) because they give them a false sense of happiness or content.  
Causes of Eating Disorders can be biological or psychological. Changes in the brain, and other hormonal imbalances could have a significant impact on our eating habits. (https://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/information/anorexia/how-malnourishment-affects-the-brain-research-on-anorexia-and-neurobiology) Social pressure and emotional fall outs can lead to distorted or negative body-image. When a negative body-image gives rise to the feelings of shame, anxiety and consciousness they suffer from various psychological problems including eating disorders. 

The following are some types of eating disorders and the signs one has to watch out for:

1) An intense fear of gaining weight, and having stress related to body image to the point of trying to lose weight even when you are under-weight. (Anorexia Nervosa)
2) Eating pattern which is followed by persistent nutritional deficiencies because of avoiding or being selective about a certain food. (Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder)
3) Episodes of uncontrollable binge-eating or consuming large amount of food when you are not even hungry. Such individuals usually eat food more rapidly than others until they are uncomfortably full. (Binge-Eating Disorder)
4) Binge-eating or eating large amount of food at a time, which is followed by some compensating behavior to avoid the weight gain. The compensating behaviors include forceful vomiting, doing intense exercise, fasting or doing any such extreme measure that stops the weight gain. (Bulimia Nervosa)
5) Other Eating disorders include consuming items that are not considered edible e.g. hair, sand, chalk, paint etc. Some children also bring up and re-chew partially digested food after swallowing. (Pica, Rumination Disorder)
 

Following are some tips to manage an Eating Disorder:

Accept yourself. Understand that nobody is perfect.

Change the associated habits and behaviors that make you vulnerable to the negative behavior.  

Quantify your food and set yourself timelines to finish different meals of the day.

If you live with your family, seek help from them and bring about changes in the family’s eating patterns and options. Setting a meal-time and eating a meal together as a family will keep you on check too.

Most Eating disorders have an underlying emotional problem. Once this problem is taken care of, Eating Disorders are better controlled too.

If individuals suffering from an Eating Disorder do not take it very seriously, he/she would end up having more serious physiological consequences.(https://www.healthxchange.sg/food-nutrition/eating-disorders/eating-disorder-complications-medical-risks-psychological-effects-social-impact) Counselors at Consolace Counselling Services will evaluate your emotional state, and take you through a step-by-step treatment plan. Until then, remind yourself, “Mirrors are just glass, you are more than that”.

 


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