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Eating Disorders: Types, Symptoms, Factors

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A popular disorder that effects millions of people is an eating disorder. Its estimated that at least 30 million people of all ages and gender suffer from this disorder in the U.S (https://anad.org/education-and-awareness/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/). Eating disorders are portrayed as mainly affecting females which may be more than men, but men are just as effected by this disorder, it’s just not talked about. I personally believe that eating disorders should be more talked about, I know when I was in high school no one talked about it there was no lectures on them or anything. It’s so important to develop a positive body image when you’re young and are in school surrounded by so many other influences that promote what they think to be the “perfect body type”. Eating disorder have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, and the numbers just keep on growing. Bones become weak, damage to smooch and esophagus, skin gets dry also develops a yellowish tint, low blood pressure, tiredness all the time, infertility, and multiple organ failure and damage. With an eating disorder the person could get to the point where you can see their bones and just look unhealthy and feel ill but they are still going to have the mentality that they need to lose more weight.

Next there are so many different types of eating disorders like bulimia nervosa, anorexia, binge eating, night eating syndrome, pica, and rumination. Now mostly the first few mentioned first are the most common well know eating disorders the rest mentioned above are not really that well known. To start with definitions Bulimia nervosa deals with bingeing and purging of food in short periods of time. Getting rid of the food and calories trough vomiting, enemas, and laxative abuse. This is when you would see some series damage to the esophagus and teeth from the hydrochloric acid produced by the stomach, that’s supposed to remain in the stomach. By throwing up constantly you are then damaging the esophagus by the acid coming up it will slowly start deteriorating the lining of the esophagus. Next Binge eating is characterized by periods of compulsive uncontrolled, continues eating that goes well beyond the point of feeling comfortably full. There is no purging like bulimia, instead there may be sporadic fasts and repetitive diets. The individual may often feel shame or self-hatred for the binge. Also, the weight is different from the other eating disorders the weight of the individual may be normal to mild, moderate, or severe obesity. This is also similar to binge drinking just subbing out the food for alcohol. Next Pica is a very odd eating disorder defined as persistent eating of nonnutritive substances for a period of at least one month. People will ingest nonfood substances like clay, dirt, sand, stones, hair, plastic, paint, wood, light bulbs, burnt matches, and many more things. Its observed frequently in children since as we know they will put anything in their mouths. Pica is the most common eating disorder seen in individuals with developmental disabilities. It’s also can be one of the most dangerous eating disorder to the body by what they are ingesting even if it’s just a month at a time they ingest nonfood substances, the consequences could be life threatening. Rumination is a bit different from the other eating disorders dealing with the involuntary or voluntary regurgitation and re-chewing of partially digested food. The food will then be swallowed or expelled, the regurgitation also doesn’t taste sour or bitter to the individual and It has to last for at least a month for it to be diagnosed (https://www.healthyplace.com/eating-disorders/eating-disorders-overview/types-of-eating-disorders-list-of-eating-disorders all types and terms mentioned in paragraph from this website).

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When someone is living with an eating disorder like anorexia which is characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss. They are consistently obsessing about their calorie intake. How many calories they’re eating, and how many calories they are going to be burning that day. The hunger they experience is always there never going away, so they find other activates to keep themselves occupied which could be something like working out. Also, they must maintain appearance and just act like everything is okay around family and friends. They have to stress about eating in front of people especially when it’s their patents they’re eating with. By cutting everything up into small pieces and calculating the calories they will be consuming, also what they will have to burn off later. While eating they will also take their time to make it look like they ate a lot when in fact they didn’t. One girl named Nicole posted that upon waking up she immediately goes on a run usually doing 6.5 miles, does 800 sit ups, and strength training ( https://eatingdisorders.com/lifestyle/anorexia-lifestyle/a-day-in-the-life-of-an-anorexic ). Which is completely insane especially with how much calories that workout would burn when they don’t have calories like that to lose. Anoxia is potentially one of the most common and serious eating disorders. It affects all gender and ages, it is more common in females nine out of ten people with anorexia are females. There’s many possible contributors for someone to develop anorexia like psychological, environment, and social factors the can contribute to the development of this eating disorders. Many experts even believe that this disorder could be part of an unconscious attempt to come to terms with unresolved conflicts or childhood experiences that were painful. Sexual abuse hasn’t been shown to be a contributor to anoxia but instead to bulimia (https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/eating-disorders/anorexia-nervosa/understanding-anorexia-basics).

From the videos, I have watched on eating disorders they don’t just intentionally happen. It mostly all starts with the individual wanting to lose weight to be more like the people they see on social media or the people they’re surrounded by. For example, when you look at models you only ever see one body type, like with Victoria secret they’ve been criticized for it how their fashion show and ads really just have one body type which is sad. Also with eating disorders there’s been cases of siblings both having an eating disorder and basically making a competition on who can lose the most weight. There were two identical twins on a Dr. Phil episode that were extremely anorexic and while the sisters looked at each other they could tell the other twin was underweight and needed to gain more weight. But when they looked at themselves they thought that they looked good when in fact they both looked the same. The point of saying this is that it gets to the point when it’s just psychological that when they look in the mirror they just see all the negative and that they need to lose even more weight.

The cases of eating disorders have increased over the year and seems to keep on increasing. I believe that more awareness should be brought to eating disorders and it should be talked about especially in high school when the minds of children are still developing. Eating disorders all start from the individual wanting to lose weight, so if this is the case then there are healthy ways of going about this that don’t involve starving yourself or making yourself throw up. But then again teaching children that there all beautiful and just to have self-love for their body is a great way to reduce the chances of negative body image thoughts.

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