What Is Eating Disorder?
Eating disorder is a condition characterized by abnormal eating habits. An individual suffering from an eating disorder either eats too much or does not eat enough. The effects of such improper eating are detrimental for the entire body as well as mental health. In the United States most common forms of eating disorders are binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. Even though it was thought that these conditions affect only females now we know for sure that even men may develop some of numerous eating disorders.
What Causes Eating Disorders?
There is a variety of possible causes associated with eating disorders. General belief is that social pressure to be thin represents the most significant one (which may be true) but apart from that people suffering from eating disorders may have other problems that have led them to make drastic changes in their eating habits. In some cases there is even a combination of factors responsible for the condition.
Some studies have found that people who have a family member suffering from an eating disorder are more susceptible to the condition as well. Furthermore, some experts believe that there may be a genetic predisposition to eating disorders. But, even if one has such family history the condition can only develop if there are additional contributing factors.
Our society promotes a thin look. People are literally bombarded with images of extremely thin people in the media. This attitude sends a very distorted message to all people and is definitely one of the leading caused of eating disorders. Not only that problem occurs in regular people, but even celebrities such as models, actresses, actors and athletes are pushed into some of many eating disorders.
Eating patterns a person adopts during his/her life are also connected to the onset of eating disorders. If parents are prone to dieting the child will accept such behavior as well. In case there are family members who are frequently on a special diet, worry about their weight and judge their appearance negatively the chance of other family members to adopt the same behavior drastically increases.
Eating disorders may also develop as a consequence of a childhood abuse or trauma. There is a clear connection between childhood sexual abuse and eating disorders. The actual reason why there is a connection has not been identified yet, but not having control is a suspected cause of the problem.
And finally, it is essential to mention that many people suffering from eating disorders have to struggle with their addiction. They can develop addiction to food or special products they use in order to become thinner such as diet pills, laxatives or diuretics. Therefore, it is not strange that such people are also prone to other addictions such as alcohol abuse or drug addiction.