How Do Eating Disorders Develop?

Eating disorders are mental health issues that affect a person’s eating habits. The goal in the mind of an individual with an eating disorder is control and relief from deep-rooted self-hatred. Eating disorders are deeper than being an ideal weight.

Eating disorders are either related to binge or overeating, calorie restriction or purging. The primary eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia and Binge-Eating Disorder. Anorexia is characterized by a person who intentionally withholds daily caloric intake in order to remain thin. A person with anorexia may exercise several hours a day and restrict calories, but they will never feel thin enough.

Bulimia is characterized by consuming hundreds or thousands of calories in a sitting and then purging. Over-eating, also considered binge eating, is characterized by over-consuming foods. Generally, binge eating occurs in solitude and can be accompanied by extreme guilt and self-loathing. There are several theories that seek to explain the epidemiology of eating disorders.

Low self-esteem can be a root cause for the development of eating disorders. Having poor self-image does not mean that someone will always develop an eating disorder. However, having low self-esteem combined with obesity in childhood, lack of positive affirmations from caretakers or idealizing thinness can all be a foundation for the development of eating disorders.

Society has an important role in the way people, especially youth, view themselves. Social media, teen magazines and the pressure to be thin is a stressor of today’s society. Television, movies and fashion can glamorize ideal beauty. According to these messages, ideal beauty equals thinness. These are unrealistic goals, but these pressures have become societal norms.

Having other mental health issues can increase the risk of developing an eating disorder. Symptoms of depression include increased or decreased appetite. Appetite changes coupled with negative self-image can increase the risk of developing an eating disorder For those with Binge Eating disorders, food becomes pleasure. Over-eating is a way to self-medicate, similarly to people who use drugs to self-medicate pain and trauma.

Unresolved trauma is a risk factor for developing an eating disorder. Trauma can vary from person to person. Common sources of trauma can be parental separation, childhood physical and sexual abuse, neglect and bullying. Trauma can have an impact on how you view self. In fact, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and eating disorders are not uncommon.

If you have experienced any of these risk factors and struggle with body image to the point of self-harm, please seek help. Eating disorders are challenging to overcome, but with the proper treatment, therapy and commitment, it can be accomplished.

Lasting recovery is more attainable than ever. Serving the greater Los Angeles area, Infinity Treatment Centers offers the highest luxury and privacy in residential treatment, along with a continuum of care options. Lasting recovery starts with infinite change. Change your life today. Call: (855) 608-8495

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