What Are The Most Common Causes Of Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders refer to illnesses that are often characterized by eating habits that are so unhealthy and irregular that they put the patients into severe emotional and physical distress. These illnesses usually strike individuals who are very concerned about their body shape or weight. With that said, they either eat an inadequate or excessive amount of food. There are several common forms of eating disorders. These are Anorexia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, and Bulimia Nervosa. These illnesses usually affect people in their teens, people in their 20s, and people who are going through a mid-life crisis. An eating disorder can be fatal if not addressed properly.
1. Biological Causes
Studies show that there are certain personality types that are more susceptible to eating disorders. For example, people with obsessive-compulsive characteristics are more vulnerable to the disorder. There’s also evidence that the illness can be hereditary. If any of your parents suffered from the disorder, you are twelve times more likely to acquire the illness compared to someone who has healthy parents.
2. Psychological Causes
Individuals who have eating disorders are often perfectionists. This is a psychological attribute which causes people to have very high and often unrealistic expectations of themselves. This is the same attribute that causes them to starve themselves in order to lose weight. This is also the attribute that causes them to binge or overeat to gain weight. In other words, the disorder affects people from both sides of the spectrum. They either starve themselves or binge on food because they fear criticism and they want to seek approval from their friends and family.
3. Family Causes
It’s a well-established fact that this is one of the common causes of eating disorders. Various studies show that people often develop the disorder because their parents or their siblings put too much value on physical appearance. This puts too much pressure on them to get the appearance that they deem desirable.
4. Social Causes
Friends, partners, and the media can cause a person to develop an eating disorder. A person will be forced to starve himself or binge on food if everyone around him seem to be implying that he’s too fat or too thin. In short, the disorder can be caused by peer pressure. Although this is one of the least discussed among the common causes of eating disorders, this doesn’t take away the fact that it plays a significant role in the development of an eating disorder.
What To Do If You Have An Eating Disorder
Your best course of action is to seek professional help immediately. Treatment would usually involve psychotherapy or psychological counseling. There should also be someone tasked with monitoring your nutritional and medical needs.