Women of all ages and backgrounds can suffer from various types of eating disorders. Health disorders in women can manifest in many ways. While most women deny having any such issues, such an attitude makes it even more difficult to treat the condition. Even if the symptoms are similar, the causes of eating disorders could vary from person to person. This article will look into the various causes of eating disorders in women and how they could be treated.
One of the primary reasons behind eating disorders is any significant change or transition. Some people can quickly adapt to change in life, but others find it difficult to accept huge changes. Such individuals prefer to remain in familiar places and have a predictable life because any kind of change makes them feel overwhelmed. Often a disorder is triggered when such people need some outlet to vent their emotions. For example, young girls may exhibit destructive behavior when transferred to a new school or at the onset of their puberty. Thus, life-altering events like the death of a loved one or combating any major illness may cause an eating disorder.
It is sad but true that most women go through traumatic events like physical abuse, which could cause an eating disorder. Some may have faced abuse when they were younger, but the condition continues into their adult lives. Most of them feel that if they can lose their body weight, then they can also remove all such sexual characteristics that caused the abuse in the first place. In the process, they not only attempt to wipe out all those traumatic memories but also lose their identity.
Many women who suffer from such eating disorders often come from dysfunctional families. The family dynamic plays an important role in controlling an individual’s physical and emotional health. If this dynamic is destroyed or disturbed, it could often lead to eating disorders. Nowadays, most parents take no notice of what their children are doing. Such conditions could be challenging to identify if families do not have their meals together. Children can also develop eating disorders due to the misguided fear of losing control. Such children feel that when they choose not to eat, they are in control of their actions and their lives.
Eating disorders can also be triggered due to the food habits of the family. If the mother is always on a diet, her daughter may perceive food as evil. Similarly, if girls in a family are told that their body weight is a problem and they can only be happy if one is thin, then they are also likely to exhibit eating disorders. In many households, children receive negative comments when they put on weight. While most parents consider this constructive criticism, it does more harm than good. Children who develop a negative relationship with food early in their lives are most likely to develop an eating disorder.
Women suffering from low esteem may also suffer from eating disorders. Such women are usually teased for their appearance and body weight at some point. Even though such incidents may have taken place in high school, as a response, they develop the condition in their adult life. Living in a society obsessed with physical appearance, women feel the need to conform to its standards and end up starving themselves.
These are some of the most common causes of eating disorders. While most women take such disorders lightly, these conditions can also affect their personalities. Therefore, they must be treated. While many treatment programs are available, the exact mode of treatment depends on the person and the type of eating disorder. Here are some of the ways to treat an eating disorder:
Also called talk therapy, psychotherapy can help identify self-destructive patterns and replace them with healthier ones. Cognitive behavioral therapy can also help in exploring the underlying issues behind such disorders and help identify the triggers. If the condition is caused due to a dysfunctional family, then the family members could be educated about such eating disorders so that they can provide support to the patient.
If an individual has been suffering from an eating disorder for a long time, then the primary goal of recovery would be repairing the damage and maintaining a healthy weight. Nutritionists and health care professionals can provide an eating plan to help maintain a healthy weight and develop normal eating habits.
While there are no medicines to cure eating disorders, they can help curb your cravings. If the disorder is caused due to trauma, depression, anxiety, or any such mental illness, then medication can also help with that.
The patient may even require hospitalization if the condition worsens. Inpatient treatment programs and intensive therapy can help restore health and address the causes of such disorders.
If eating disorders are left unchecked, they can cause severe damage to both the mind and body. While it is a lifelong battle to recover from such a condition, strong support and a little patience can go a long way.
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