Eating disorders are complex disorders caused and maintained by several social, psychological and biological factors.
It is among the mental illnesses and, in recent times, it has shown a greater growth in terms of incidence in the entire population, causing physical, psychological, emotional and social damage.
With the great technological development and the increase in the consumption of social networks, we notice an exacerbated appreciation for aesthetic standards, which has led to a lot of pressure to achieve the perfect body. Which indicates that these disorders are very common.
This change in eating habits and behaviors impairs the mental and physical health of the individual. The big question is that it’s not just the body that suffers, the whole psyche gets sick when an eating disorder is recognized.
There are many eating disorders, but some are more frequent than others, such as: anorexia, which is severe restriction of food, leading to malnutrition and significant weight loss.
It is characterized by a strong fear of obesity, and by distorting the image of the body, the individual cannot, in any way, view himself as thin.
We also have bulimia, when eating large amounts of food occurs at a certain pace, compulsively.
Upon losing control and realizing this fact, the person attempts to compensate for the overeating through self-induced vomiting, laxatives/diuretics, fasting, or excessive exercise.
Speaking of compulsions, we can’t forget about food compulsions. A kind of disorder very similar to bulimia, but without compensation in vomiting.
They are defined as compulsive episodes that cause physical discomfort due to the amount eaten, and are associated with feelings of guilt and shame.
We can still find two of the most common eating disorders: Orthorexia and Vigorexia. The first is an obsession with healthy food, which causes impairment in social interaction and significant dietary restriction.
The second is some kind of emotional delirium obsessed with gaining muscle at any cost. Accompanied by a very restricted and specific diet, with the goal of helping to increase muscle mass in an uncontrolled manner.
However, despite knowing that compulsions are closely related to anxiety and depression, it is important to highlight that for an eating disorder to exist, the episodes must be recurrent and not just an event.
In addition, the same patient can develop several disorders, because they are interrelated. Some degrees are very clear and visible, as in the case of obesity, where food is seen to replace deficiency, serving to fill a void, softening unconscious voids that have nothing to do with food.
A need to satisfy hunger aroused by other stimuli. Turn all unmanaged feelings into food.
Another important factor has to do with miracle diets that promise immediate happiness and success, and lead human beings to real atrocities with body and emotion.
Within this scenario, it is understood that both anorexia and bulimia are wars on body fat.
Therefore, eating disorders are a serious condition of persistent behaviors that negatively affect one’s health, generate uncomfortable feelings, and make it difficult to live together and develop social skills.
The most important thing is to determine how the relationship with food is formed and to be aware of the type of eating disorder that may emerge.
After all, you are not your disorder. This emotional clarity greatly assists the individual in seeking successful treatment.
In addition, the starting point is to check if this connection to food is causing any pain or harm. If the result is positive, it is entirely possible that there is one or more proven disorders that prevent physical and mental balance.
Andrea Ladislau is a psychoanalyst.
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