Eating Disorders affect millions worldwide. A highly life threatening mental health disorder, eating disorders are complex. Negative side effects and consequences of eating disorders can include: death, heart failure, hair loss, vision loss, irregular menstrual cycles, reduction of bone density, muscle loss, fatigue, and weakness. If you are concerned you or a loved one might be suffering from an eating disorder, get a professional opinion as soon as possible.
Types Of Eating Disorders
Anorexia Nervosa: commonly characterized by periods of starvation or extreme dietary restriction
Bulimia Nervosa: involves periods of binging followed by purging. Purging can include laxative abuse, self-induced vomiting, restriction, or excessive exercise
Binge Eating Disorder: a compulsive inability to control or moderate eating, to the point of health risk and feeling ashamed for eating
Body Dysmorphic Disorder: a skewed perception of one’s own body with obsession about specific body parts
Other Disorders: orthorexia, drunkorexia, and other disordered eating issues
Shame, Stigma, And Normalization
Shame and stigma precede mental health disorders of any kind. Eating disorders in particular receive a lot of shame for the difficulty someone has with a basic need: food. Alcohol is to alcoholism what food is to an eating disorder: a symptom of an underlying problem. Eating disorders have much more to do with control, perfectionism, and self-hatred issues. Today’s modern world obsessed with health, dieting, fashion, and how we appear on social media normalizes these problems. Society goes to great lengths to control, perfect, and focus on self-love. It’s easy to do all these things for appearance’s sake. Underneath, someone can still be suffering. How one looks or appears on the outside does not necessarily dictate what they go through on the inside. Battling the stigma of eating disorders start when you boldly admit you need help for one.
Asking For Help
Overcoming the fear of what people will think, how they will judge you, or perceive you differently will be washed away the second you ask for help. Taking that strong first step is all about you, not about others. Reach out to your family, partner, or loved one for help. If you are intimidated about talking to them now, you can ask a therapist, doctor, or friend for help. Eating disorders are successfully treated through inpatient residential as well as intensive outpatient programs.
Aurora Recovery Centre offers eating disorder treatment as it co-occurs with substance use issues. Chemical dependency and eating disorder issues often go hand in hand. For a consultation and more information on our programs, call 1-844-515-STOP.