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Eating Disorders, “It got better, but it never ended”

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Eating Disorders, “It got better, but it never ended”

From February 1st until the 7th, Canada celebrates National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Eating disorders are characterized by eating, exercise and body weight or shape becoming an unhealthy preoccupation of someone’s life. What people don’t understand about eating disorders is it’s not starving yourself, or a lifestyle choice gone wrong. They are potentially life threatening and are hard to recovery wrong, but you can.

According to kidshealth.org, the most common eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa (usually called simply “Anorexia” and “Bulimia”). But other food-related disorders, like avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, binge eating, body image disorders, and food phobias, are becoming more and more commonly identified.

Eating disorders are more than about food, it’s about how the mind views the body and how your mind see’s food. To the mind, food can either be tempting or something to fear for someone suffering with an eating disorder.

A man or woman suffering from an eating disorder may reveal several signs and symptoms, some which are:

  • Chronic dieting despite being hazardously underweight
  • Constant weight fluctuations
  • Obsession with calories and fat contents of food
  • Engaging in ritualistic eating patterns, such as cutting food into tiny pieces, eating alone, and/or hiding food
  • Continued fixation with food, recipes, or cooking; the individual may cook intricate meals for others but refrain from partaking
  • Depression or lethargic stage
  • Avoidance of social functions, family and friends. May become isolated and withdrawn
  • Switching between periods of overeating and fasting

Treatment for an eating disorder is usually comprised with one or more of the following and addressed with medical doctors, nutritionists, and therapists for complete care:

  • Medical Care and Monitoring-The highest concern in the treatment of eating disorders is addressing any health issues that may have been a consequence of eating disordered behaviors.
  • Nutrition: This would involve weight restoration and stabilization, guidance for normal eating, and the integration of an individualized meal plan.
  • Therapy: Different forms of psychotherapy, such as individual, family, or group, can be helpful in addressing the underlying causes of eating disorders. Therapy is a fundamental piece of treatment because it affords an individual in recovery the opportunity to address and heal from traumatic life events and learn healthier coping skills and methods for expressing emotions, communicating and maintaining healthy relationships.
  • Medications: Some medications may be effective in helping resolve mood or anxiety symptoms that can occur with an eating disorder or in reducing binge-eating and purging behaviors.

I myself struggle with an eating disorder, I have days where I contemplate not eating at all and struggle to have a bite or two of a small granola bar. Some days I can go all day without thinking about my food consumption and I will eat and eat all day. When I get home, that’s when it hits me. I feel disgusted and loathe every aspect of myself to the point I refuse to look at myself in the mirror.

To read more about National Eating Disorder Awareness Week visit online or if you need someone to talk to about your eating disorder please contact BANA.