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We all need to eat in order to live.Basically, through food and water our body obtains the energy itneeds for performing all the daily actions we expect it to perform.

However, in some situations, our eatinghabits may not be considered normal. Namely, due to psychologicalproblems, we might eat too much or too little, in order to compensatefor some emotional problems we might face. This, of course, can leadto various health problems, either due to the lack of nutrients ourbody gets or the excessive amount of calories we expose it to.Therefore, eating disorders are best to be diagnosed early andtreated timely, allowing one to gain control over his/her eatinghabits again.

Eating Disorder is an Obsession

Most people, especially teens arepreoccupied with the way they look and the attitudes of otherstowards them. Teens, while going through puberty, undergo variousphysical and mental changes making them feel confused and exposed tosocial pressure. This form of pressure can lead to the development ofeating disorders where the person may either eat too much in order tofind comfort for certain emotional problems or hardly eat at all inorder to lose weight and remain “attractive” or “popular”.

Thus, eating disorders are obsessionsexpressed through abnormal eating patterns. More common in girls thanin boys, these disorders affect 1 or 2 out of every 100 children. Some ofthe most frequently seen eating disorders in teens, children or evenadults are anorexia, being extreme loss of weight due to not eatingfor the sake of aesthetic appeal and bulimia, being a condition whichmanifests through eating and purging (expelling the consumed foodthrough self-induced vomiting or laxative use). Alternatively, some people may developtheir anorexia through exercising excessively or consuming as littlecalories as possible. Due to the characteristics of thesetwo, similar diseases, bulimia sufferers may be able to maintaintheir body figure while anorexics appear abnormally skinny.

Eating disorders can be very hard toescape from, especially when one has been affected by these for along period of time. However, taking into consideration that theseforms of illnesses may end up taking a person's life, timelytreatment is a necessary factor.

As far as certain causes of eatingdisorders are concerned, these can be social, family-related, geneticor psychological. In most cases, people with eating disorders do notsee themselves in the same way that others see them. Rather, evenwhen they are nothing but flesh and bones, they may feel plump oroverweight, doing their best to overcome this through furtherstarvation.

Problems at home, pressure related tosports or other types of achievements or, simply, a desire to beattractive and meet all the beauty standards of modern times, all maybe factors which contribute to the development of eating disorders,especially in younger, female individuals.

Another form of common eating disorderis a bit different from the two described above. Namely, compulsiveor emotional eating, also referred to as binge eating, is a conditionwhich manifests through eating large quantities of food in order tocompensate for emotional problems and personality issues. People whosuffer from this eating disorder are usually overweight, being awareof their problems, commonly eating food in secrecy and feeling guiltafter this happens. Additionally, many binge-eating individuals claimthat they do not feel full even after eating more than can possiblybe good for them.

Advice for Eating Disorder

Early diagnosis and treatment are thebest steps to be taken in cases of eating disorders. The treatmentper se may take many forms, from counseling, family therapy, grouptherapy and joining a support group, over drama or arts therapy tonutritional advice.

Nevertheless, no progress can be madeunless the person him/herself desires to change. Like any obsession,eating disorders can be hard to let go. However, certain eatingobsessions can be overcome through specific approaches.

For example, bulimic people should givetheir best to avoid vomiting and binge-eating, focusing on eatingfood in a normal, moderate manner, without purging afterwards.Anorexics, on the other hand, need to start eating regularly,providing their body with enough nutrients to stay healthy and freefrom additional diseases.

However, this might not be an easy stepto take in any of these situations and people with eating disordersmay need the help of both the therapists and the medical staff, aswell as their families, friends and all other people close to them.

To sum up, eating obsessions are formsof eating disorders which manifest through abnormal attitudes towardsfood and eating. Some of the most common eating disorders arebinge-eating, anorexia and bulimia. All these disorders have theirown characteristics and are dealt with through different forms oftreatment. Nevertheless, in order for any progress to be made beforethese disorders take their toll on the health of the affectedindividuals, the condition in question needs to be addressed timely,through proper medical assistance and therapy.

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