It is the holiday season and we tend to over indulge on food and enjoy the delicious meal. Well… at least in the moment, and not after the 3rd plate of mountain sized food we ate. Then we sit there with self hate. Lol! If you have trouble with that CLICK HERE to read my article on how to not overeat during this holiday season.
Even though many of us goes through that, there are individuals who fear eating or keeping the food within their body system. Because of the fear of gaining weight during the holiday season, they will starve themselves or regurgitate their food. Unfortunately, I have personally witnessed this and I want to do an entry about anorexia and bulimia. Around this time of year, we’re always talking about consuming a lot of food, but we never talk about the opposite.
Of course before I continue, I just want to do a full disclosure. As I have said in many of of my entries, I am not a professional doctor or specialist in mental and emotional health. Also, not a nutritionist. I love blogging about internal health, because I am a strong advocate about mental health. I want to spread the word about it to break the stigma. I believe once we break the stigma, the world can be a better and compassionate place. With that being said, let’s jump into the unsettling world of eating disorders.
First, Anorexia… It’s a medical condition in which someone lack or loss of appetite for food. The physical signs of starvation is dehydration, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, low blood pressure, low body temperature, osteoporosis, water-electrolyte imbalance, or feeling cold. Behavioral signs are binge eating, compulsive behavior, hyperactivity, impulsivity, or social isolation. Mood signs are anxiety, apprehension, or guilt. Of course, the most common sign is depression.
Bulimia is an emotional disorder involving distortion of body image and an obsessive desire to lose weight, in which bouts of extreme overeating are followed by depression and self-induced vomiting, purging, or fasting. Physical symptoms are dehydration, fatigue, food aversion, hunger, or water-electrolyte imbalance. Mood symptoms are anxiety, general discontent, guilt, or mood swings. However, the most common signs are abnormality of taste, depression, poor self-esteem, or sore throat.
Unfortunately, women makes up majority of the statistic when it comes to eating disorders. According to The Recovery Village, only 20% of men suffers from bulimia and 5% of them with anorexia. Whereas, 80% of women suffer from bulimia and 95% of them with anorexia. An estimated 1 in 5 death from anorexia are suicides. As well, 1 in every 10 people who have bulimia also struggle with substance use disorder (for example, alcohol). What’s more cringing? Less than 50% of people with eating disorders seek out treatment. What can cause these statistics?
There are various causes of this. The biological reasons are genetics, irregular hormone function, and nutritional deficiencies. Environmental motives are pressure from society, profession and career, stress, and childhood/family trauma. Treatment to fight back the causes are therapy. It doesn’t have to be with a psychologists. It can be a support group. Of course seeking other specialists like a nutritionist, psychiatrist, and a primary care provider (PCP).
I usually like to add some personal stories from disorders. Either something I have personally gone through or have someone close who is managing the disorder. I have not gone through this and don’t personally know anyone close. When I was in the psych ward, I have seen a few patients who had the disorder, but never was close enough to get their perspective. Therefore, I don’t feel qualified to talk about something that is not in my world. However, I have found these videos that can shed some light to it. The videos are young women who shares their personal story. Please take the time to watch.
I hope the video helps. Please pay attention to the signs and try to be there for your loved ones. If you are going through a disorder, please share your experience. The more people share their story, the more the world can open up and judge less. If you had an eating disorder or currently recovering, please comment below on when you knew you need help and where did you seek out the help. If any of you have a friend or family with an eating disorder comment below. I love reading comments. I know it’s the holiday season and we’re wrapped up on getting gifts. Let’s focus more on showing love and support to everyone. We can do this, we just have to adult one day at a time. xoxo
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