Friday, July 12, 2024

Why Is Eating Disorders A Social Issue

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The Three Types Of Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders and the Illusion of Control | Sanna Legan | TEDxCMU

While many behavioral addictions have yet to be incorporated into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , experts generally agree eating disorders can be broken down into three distinct but occasionally overlapping categories:

  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Binge Eating disorder

Each of the disorders listed above is real medical illnesses that can result in a host of adverse physical, emotional, social, and psychological effects. It should also be mentioned that all of these disorders are treatable. But just as with a substance abuse disorder, it often takes the help and guidance of a qualified professional to overcome an eating disorder. Thats why its important to know the ins and outs of each so you can be better equipped to identify such a disorder in yourself or in someone you care about.

Eating Disorders And Social Anxiety

When you have an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge-eating disorder , it’s not uncommon to have anxiety in situations involving eating in front of others or to have concerns about how others perceive your body in social situations. In some cases, such symptoms could also be signs of another mental health issue, specifically social anxiety disorder .

People with eating disorders can often have another mental health issue, such as generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder , or obsessive-compulsive disorder .

In fact, studies show that about two-thirds of people with eating disorders also have an anxiety disorder.

However, SAD is consistently found to be the first or second most common anxiety disorder in patients with eating disorders. Some studies have shown that in patients with anorexia nervosa, the rate of SAD is between 16 and 88 percent for patients with bulimia nervosa, this rate is between 17 and 68 percent. In the one known study that compared levels of social anxiety in patients with BED, it appears that the incidence of social anxiety is elevated in these individuals when compared with healthy controls. Overall, SAD is significantly more common among individuals with eating disorders than among control groups.

Treatment For Negative Body Image

Research shows that body image is often one of the last symptoms of an eating disorder to improve during treatment. Even accounting for different treatments and symptoms between patients, the stages of recovery from an eating disorder follow a fairly similar pattern. Almost universally, weight recovery and behavioral changes appear to precede psychological recovery. And some degree of body image distress and preoccupation may persist after recovery of an eating disorder since it is not normal for people in our society to be entirely free of body image concerns.

A variety of interventions have been designed to target a negative body image. These interventions fall into several broad categories including

  • cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • psychoeducation
  • gratitude

In many cases, treatments incorporate more than one category of intervention. For example, cognitive-behavioral treatments and media literacy programs often include psychoeducation.

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Eating Disorders: Personal Or Social Problem Essay

the subject of eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia unfortunately it is because these disorders seem to be becoming more and more common. The question that remains is whether eating disorders such as these are simply personal problems of the individuals, or if they have become a social problem that needs to be addressed more aggressively. Having grown up in this society, I see this issue as a definite social problem. To say that these increasingly common eating disorders are personal problems

Public Perceptions Of Factors That Contribute To Eating Disorders

Read «Eating Disorders as a Social Problem» Essay Sample ...

The studies to date that have focused on identifying public perceptions of the factors associated with the development of eating disorders have surveyed individuals drawn from communities or schools. Typically, these samples have been quite large, numbering over 100 or even several hundred , and have included both females and males . Despite the importance of large samples, all of these studies have been limited in that the researchers did not ask open-ended questions rather, participants responded to forced-answer questions where they either had to identify which item was a cause of eating disorders or identify to what degree a particular item was a cause.

The public commonly places blame on individuals with eating disorders, suggesting that they have control over their self-inflicted illnesses . Of the individual factors associated with the development of eating disorders, the majority of people who do not have eating disorders identify psychological explanations such as emotional state, personality, and low self-esteem . The general public also believes that individuals own behaviors and attitudes related to body image such as dieting, a desire to be thin, and body image distortion are important factors in the development of eating disorders . Traumatic events, genetics, and sexual abuse were rarely discussed or, if they were mentioned, rated low on the level of significance in causing eating disorders .

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The Sociological Aspects Of Eating Disorders

When you hear the words eating disorder what does that bring to mind? A friend? A family member? Maybe yourself? The horrible truth is that most people can think of at least one person in their lives that those words have been a reality for. It is a severely touchy subject, especially in todays society.The most common eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. Anorexia Nervosa can be elucidated as a psychological and possibly life-threatening eating disorder defined by an extremely low body weight relative to stature, extreme and needless weight loss, illogical fear of weight gain, and distorted perception of self-image and body . Bulimia, on the other hand, can be defined as a psychological and severe life-threatening eating disorder described by the ingestion of an abnormally large amount of food in short time period, followed by an attempt to avoid gaining weight by purging what was consumed. Methods of purging include forced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics, and extreme or prolonged periods of exercising. Often, in these binge/purge episodes, a woman or man suffering from this disorder will experience a loss of control and engage in frantic efforts to undo these feelings . These are two very debilitating diseases and it is imperative that societies are fully aware of the impacts they can make on an individual, family, or even a whole community.

Works Cited

Looking At Eating Disorders Through A Social Justice Lens

thin privilegeevery single intersectionany

  • Believing people when they said they have/have had an eating disorder.
  • Forgetting the idea that only emaciated people can be sick, or that someone who “looks healthy” or is overweight isn’t sick.
  • Bringing about awareness when it comes to intersectionality through statistics and other impertinent information, all with adamance.
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    How Might Eating Problems Affect My Life

    Eating problems are not just about food. They can be about difficult things and painful feelings. You may be finding these hard to express, face or resolve.

    Focusing on food can be a way of hiding these feelings and problems, even from yourself. Eating problems can affect you in lots of ways.

    You might feel:

    • scared of other people finding out.

    You might find that:

    • it’s hard to concentrate on your work, studies or hobbies
    • controlling food or eating has become the most important thing in your life
    • it’s hard to be spontaneous, to travel or to go anywhere new
    • your appearance is changing or has changed
    • you are bullied or teased about food and eating
    • you develop short- or long-term physical health problems
    • you want to avoid socialising, dates and restaurants or eating in public
    • you have to drop out of school or college, leave work or stop doing things you enjoy.

    With friends, family or other people, you might feel that:

    • you’re distant from those who don’t know how you feel, or who are upset they can’t do more to help
    • they focus a lot on the effect eating problems can have on your body
    • they only think you have a problem if your body looks different to how they think it should be
    • they sometimes comment on your appearance in ways you find difficult
    • they don’t really understand how complicated things are for you.

    Eating Disorders Are A Serious Health Problem Essay

    The impact of social media on eating disorders

    Eating disorders are a very serious health problem. People with eating disorders are addicted to food, just like the people who are addicted to drugs and medications. People with eating disorders us food to numb the pain. They are dangerous illnesses that cause mental and physical suffering and may have long life consequences. People with eating disorders cannot use food as a source of energy or nutrition. Their ability to connect hunger and fullness with the meals is disrupted

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    What Are The Types Of Eating Disorders

    Common types of eating disorders include:

    • Binge-eating, which is out-of-control eating. People with binge-eating disorder keep eating even after they are full. They often eat until they feel very uncomfortable. Afterward, they usually have feelings of guilt, shame, and distress. Eating too much too often can lead to weight gain and obesity. Binge-eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the U.S.
    • Bulimia nervosa. People with bulimia nervosa also have periods of binge-eating. But afterwards, they purge, by making themselves throw up or using laxatives. They may also over-exercise or fast. People with bulimia nervosa may be slightly underweight, normal weight, or overweight.
    • Anorexia nervosa. People with anorexia nervosa avoid food, severely restrict food, or eat very small quantities of only certain foods. They may see themselves as overweight, even when they are dangerously underweight. Anorexia nervosa is the least common of the three eating disorders, but it is often the most serious. It has the highest death rate of any mental disorder.

    Where Do I Start

    You’ve decided it’s time to seek help and we’re so glad you did. NEDA is here to support you on your journey. These resources can help you take the first step to getting the help you deserve.

    What are the warning signs and symptoms of an eating disorder?

    The chance for recovery increases the earlier an eating disorder is detected. Therefore, it is important to be aware of some of the warning signs of an eating disorder.

    How do I know if its time to get help?

    Our online eating disorders screening assesses warning signs of an eating disorder and help you determine if it’s time to seek professional help. But please note, this screening is not a replacement for clinical evaluation.

    How do I open up about my issues?

    If you are able to recognize disordered eating attitudes and behaviors in yourself, you have already taken the first step toward a happy, healthy, balanced way of life. The second steptelling a trusted friend, family member, or professional counselor/nutritionistis equally as important.

    Whats the first step to treatment?

    Early detection, initial evaluation, and effective treatment are important steps that can help an eating disorder sufferer move into recovery more quickly, preventing the disorder from progressing to a more severe or chronic state.

    What can I expect from eating disorders treatment?

    Many people wonder what will happen at their first visit, and what to expect from the overall treatment process.

    How do I find treatment?

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    Why Are Eating Disorders Dangerous

    Medical ComplicationsEating disorders can do a lot of damage to your health. People with eating disorders often dont get the nutrients their bodies need to stay healthy and work properly. For example, people with eating disorders are at risk of heart or kidney failure leading to death if they are not treated.

    The harder I held on to the food, or lack of it, the faster I lost myself. I could see nothing but ED. I knew nothing but ED and I just couldnt stop. As my body began to failas I began to failI believed with all of my being I was a failure. ~ Melanie

    Some symptoms of anorexia nervosa are:

    • thin, weak bones
    • hair and nails that break easily
    • dry and yellowish skin
    • fine hair growing all over the body
    • low iron levels and weak muscles
    • constipation
    • low blood pressure, slowed breathing and pulse
    • drop in body temperature, feel cold all the time
    • lack of energy

    Some symptoms of bulimia nervosa are:

    • sore throat
    • swollen glands in the neck and under the jaw
    • heartburn
    • pain in the stomach and intestine
    • kidney failure
    • dehydrated

    People who try to get rid of calories after they eat by throwing up will have many of these symptoms.

    People with binge-eating disorder often binge on foods that are high in sugar, fat or salt. This kind of diet can lead to weight gain, and some people with BED are overweight or obese. As a result, people with BED are at risk of developing:

    • type 2 diabetes
    • digestive problems
    • heart problems

    Eating Disorder Health Problems And Complications

    The Problem

    Eating disorder health problems and complications are more common, and more deadly, than many people think. Both anorexia and bulimia can cause serious eating disorder health problems including heart failure and rupturing of the intestinal area, either of which can result in death.

    Unfortunately, because eating disorders are constantly glamorized by society, many aren’t even aware of the internal and external eating disorder health problems that inevitably occur from these mental illnesses. Hopefully, this list of eating disorder health problems will help you, or someone you know, see why it’s important to get help for an eating disorder as soon as possible.

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    What Can We Do

    If a lack of social skills not only contributes to an eating disorder but also maintains it, what can those suffering from anorexia and other eating disorders do? For those living with an eating disorder, it is important to start small and to realize each choice you make can lead you to a brighter, fuller life. First, it is recommended to seek professional treatment and to take the first step to recovery. If you are seeking treatment, reach out to The Emily Program at 1-888-364-5977 for personalized help. Second, try setting a small goal for each day. This could be reaching out to a friend or saying hello to someone you see regularly. As this becomes easier, start slowly building a strong social network of people who will be in your corner during recovery. Meet up with supportive friends when possible, or maintain friendships via texting or phone calls. Recovery is easier if individuals are connected to others who advocate for their recovery as well, so its important to reach out and stay connected.

    It is important that we understand that eating disorders can affect anyone, regardless of their gender, race, or any other demographic categorization. If you suffer from an eating disorder or know someone that does, see our self-assessment quiz, information on warning signs, or information about referring a patient. For additional questions or someone to speak with, call The Emily Program at 1-888-364-5977.

    The Link Between Social Media And Body Image

    Seeing constant examples of perfect bodies on social media can promote the message that these bodies are normal and most acceptable. These images can make people feel as though their bodies are less acceptable by comparison and have a negative impact on body image.

    Social media can encourage competition and comparison that impacts how people view their own bodies. Viewing beautifully edited pictures can make people feel like their lives, bodies or experiences are less valuable compared to others.

    This feeling can be isolating or damaging and can contribute to body image concerns and harmful beliefs or behaviors. Social media has contributed to eating disorders and the statistics surrounding these harmful messages are concerning.

    For example, research has shown that using Facebook can increase experience related concerns, particularly for people more likely to compare themselves to others. Specific activities like uploading more photos or spending more time on social media are linked with poorer body image.

    In some cases, people with existing concerns about their body might use social media to look for positive or negative feedback on appearance. Research has shown that high social media use is linked with greater odds of developing an eating disorder.

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    Taking Action For Change

    Learn more about the different types of eating disorder

    There are different types of eating disorder – including binge eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and other specified feeding or eating disorder . Each one has specific characteristics and potentially different treatments. Anyone, regardless of their age, gender or ethnicity, can develop an eating disorder.

    Psychotherapy can be effective

    Psychotherapy can be used to help control and reshape your behaviours, emotions, and patterns of thinking. Sessions are usually run by a psychologist. However, these approaches may also be used by other health professionals including psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and counsellors.

    Nutritional management is an important part of recovery

    Nutritional management ensures you are getting enough nourishment and helps you develop healthy eating habits, thoughts, and behaviours. A nutritionist or a dietitian will usually support you in managing your diet and will help you with meal planning. Apps like Recovery Record can be a useful way for you and your treatment team to manage your daily nutrition.

    Family approaches are common for younger people

    For younger people, early intervention approaches that involve your whole family in understanding the disorder and supporting your recovery have been shown to be most effective. Family approaches can also be effective for adults and bring together family or close friends as part of a support network.

    Developing coping strategies

    Negative Body Image And Other Disorders

    Eating disorders: Trends tied to social media and COVID pandemic

    Body dissatisfaction may lead to dieting and disordered eating, which can be gateway behaviors to an eating disorder.

    Body dissatisfaction is not only a risk factor for or symptom of an eating disorder, but it can also be a risk factor for depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Thus, it is a common target for prevention efforts.

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