Eating disorders cause a lot of distress to those who suffer with them, they often suffer in secret, and also too their loved ones who can be at a loss as to how to manage and how to help the person, be it a male or a female. Men can suffer from them just as women can.
Having more facts about the problem and so a greater understanding, can be very beneficial for both the sufferer and the people around them. Just knowing that other people can be affected by disordered eating can be comforting.
An eating disorder is defined by ‘severe disturbances in eating behavior’ (DSM-IV 1994) and originally included anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. More recently binge eating d also called compulsive eating disorder, has been generally recognized as. Obesity is considered too as there is often an overlap with compulsive eating, just as there is often an overlap between bulimia and compulsive eating with anorexia. One of the unfortunate facts about is that the same person can have both anorexic and bulimic symptoms.
With anorexia nervosa the sufferer refuses to eat enough to maintain the appropriate body weight for their height. They have a fear of becoming fat even though they might be very underweight, and they have a distorted perception of their shape and size. People are who anorexic are said to be either ‘restricting’ types or ‘binge eating/purging’ types. The restricting types keep their weight down by limiting the amount of food that they eat whilst the other type binge eat and purge themselves by vomiting or taking laxatives, diuretics or enemas.
With bulimia nervosa the person has a strong urge to overeat and will alternate those times with when they starve themselves or vomit and purge to control their weight. As they are usually of normal weight, people who are bulimic can often hide it from friends and families, sometimes for years.
Interesting eating disorder statistics include how many people will suffer in their lifetime from them, how many men and how many women, what age are they, how long will the disorder last, how many obtain eating disorder treatment, how many people who get treatment get the intensity of treatment necessary to stay in recovery, how many die from the eating disorder etc.. Eating disorder recovery can be a lengthy and challenging process and can depend on the quality of treatment received and the determination of the sufferer to overcome the disorder.
The known facts about eating disorders are increasing all the time and general awareness is improving. Whether you are someone suffering from an eating disorder or a loved one of a sufferer, it’s vital to seek the right help now!