Many women suffer from eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. Eating disorders often happen in childhood and the root causes of it are child abuse, childhood obesity, peer pressure and a low self-esteem.
Eating disorders can sometimes lead to serious physical and mental health problems. In severe cases, the starvation of the body leads to heart failure and death.
According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, 95 percent of women with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25 years. So, what is anorexia and bulimia?
Anorexia is a eating disorder in which the person literally starves herself and only takes minute amounts of food per day, which results in rapid weight loss. Bulimia is another eating disorder that consists of binge-eating, followed by purging of the stomach in an attempt to lose weight.
So, why are eating disorders more common in females? Here are the reasons.
Misunderstood At Mid-life
Women, who have eating disorders, fall into three distinct categories. Most of them who develop eating disorders in adolescence, are recovered and then relapsed; others who are never recovered; and some who develop anorexia or bulimia for the first time later on in life. But, this illness is generally overlooked at by doctors and the person's family might fail to notice too.
Thin Is Not Beautiful
While many women starve themselves to lose weight, there is also a social pressure that plays a role to become thin. The pressure on adult women to become thin with being attractive has escalated in the recent years. Around 80 percent of women report dissatisfaction with their appearance, according to a noted study. Women tend to think that if they are not thin, they aren't successful, which leads to increased eating disorder behaviour.
Stress And Dieting
While social pressure continues to contribute to eating disorders in women, stress is another enemy which triggers anorexia that can cause significant damage. Stress can increase a woman's vulnerability to illness. Common stressful life events like divorce, becoming a widow, menopause and childbirth can trigger eating disorders in some women.
Families Also Suffer
When a person suffers with an eating disorder or any kind of an illness, it's also the family that suffers. Anorexia nervosa is an illness that can shatter the whole family. The mood swings and personality changes that result from anorexia can wreak havoc on personal relationships and family ties too.
Treatment Centres For Eating Disorders
Choosing the right rehabilitation program for an eating disorder is of utmost importance. Many women suffer from eating disorders along with depression and other mental illnesses. So, in order to treat anorexia and bulimia, treatment programs should address the underlying mental illness.
Dual diagnosis treatment centres are a perfect choice for anyone suffering with eating disorders.
Seek Early Intervention
If you are struggling with an eating disorder, seek help as soon as possible. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, women who seek help for bulimia within 5 years of the appeared symptoms have an 80 percent chance of recovery.
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