Eating Disorders: What's Behind It?

Food for a person is a source of life and energy, so it is important that it be of high quality and consumed in the optimal amount. The inability to control the correct and timely consumption of food, which leads to health problems, is called an eating disorder (EDD). What factors provoke the appearance of such violations and what problems may indicate the presence of ED?

Unhealthy relationship with food

Eating disorders are a range of behavioral patterns that are associated with eating disorders. There is a feeling of dependence on food, for example, in the form of a constant desire to eat something or refusal to eat. Such actions can lead to different feelings: guilt, anxiety, anger. A person may be aware of this or not even think about a causal relationship.

There are many types of eating disorders. Among the main ones are anorexia, bulimia and compulsive overeating, as well as a number of other disorders that occur much less frequently, for example, orthorexia - an obsessive desire to eat healthy food or drunkorexia, when eating is replaced drinking alcohol for the purpose of intentional weight loss or weight control, and others.

If a person, for some subjective reasons, has an idea to adhere to a certain diet or exclude certain foods from the diet, it is important to first consult with a specialist whether this should be done. If a diet is needed, then a specialist will help you choose a balanced diet and find an alternative to those foods that a person wants to exclude. Such an algorithm of actions will allow you not to make mistakes, stay in good shape and not harm the body. After all, human health consists of three aspects: physical, mental and social.

Usually people themselves notice that something is wrong with them. For example, a person is gaining weight or his colleagues and friends pay attention to how he looks. One of the symptoms of a psychological factor is overeating or undereating. To begin to treat pathology, you need to understand the causes. Usually the mistake of treatment lies precisely in the fact that people struggle with symptoms. Conventionally, if a spot appears on the ceiling, then a person tries to paint over it, but it appears again. And here it is important to understand why it arose? First you need to deal with a leak in the roof, and then cover up the stain. So it is with health, it is difficult to help yourself if the cause of the disease is not established and work is not being done with it.

Causes of eating disorders

Eating disorder is a psychological pathology that can be activated for various reasons. Due to stress or psychological trauma in a child or adult, also deviations from the norms of nutrition can be caused by psychological and physiological problems. The disorder may arise as a result of a certain upbringing or standards of beauty imposed by society. A child grows up in a family with certain traditions, and from childhood, each of us follows certain rituals adopted in the circle of relatives. For example, if you are upset, then you need to drink tea with sweets, if you are tired, then eat a pie and get distracted in this way. It turns out that from a young age, a certain algorithm for living emotions is formed in a person - to seize them or, conversely, to limit oneself. This is some kind of self-care through food, but, unfortunately, we are not taught how to take care of ourselves in any other way. The opposite scenario can also develop, when a child is punished with deprivation of something tasty, for example, they are forbidden to eat sweets, and in adulthood he can also limit himself. The parent most often praises the child, rewarding with sweets. And then we continue to live according to this scenario, I’m doing well today, so I’ll go buy myself something tasty, and if I fail, I’ll buy something to support myself. We do this in every situation. When a person does not know other ways, then he follows the well-known path. If he has increased anxiety, then he may begin to eat more than normal and, as a rule, food with a bright taste, thus trying to relieve stress. And these are symptoms of pathology, but not the cause. When the reasons for overeating accumulate and the usual ways of relieving stress do not help, it is as if the dose of food is increased and the person abuses it. Everyone has their own way of eating, someone has sweet, someone salty, others abuse coffee and so on. So a person can only seize more and more until he begins to notice weight gain. Someone, on the contrary, can completely deny himself food when stressed. This happens when we do not accept ourselves and do not love, when we lack self-worth. Social standards can provoke eating disorder. If thinness (some sports, modeling) or dense body mass (sumo, bodybuilding) is welcomed in a profession, then its representatives can find it difficult to cope with this. For this reason, many athletes and models have an eating disorder.

Ways to help

Eating has nothing to do with food and willpower. This is primarily about not understanding the problem, so it is important to realize it, start making decisions and be responsible for them. If there is a feeling of walking in a vicious circle, but it is impossible to break out of it yourself, then you can always find help and support from outside.

Treatment of ED requires an integrated approach - a team of specialists, because it is a mental illness that affects physical and mental health. The key person who will be involved in the treatment and supervise it should be a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist. Nutritionists and psychologists can act as additional specialists. Today, in many companies, employees have the opportunity to turn to a counseling psychologist. He can take on an accompanying role, help build a new relationship with food, indicate the direction of movement, taking into account all the nuances of the individual's lifestyle, talk about possible support options, refer to a psychiatrist or therapist. It is valuable when a company takes care of its employees and gives them the opportunity to get additional help. Treatment of eating disorders is not a quick process, so during this period, support is especially important for a person.

First, specialists need to sort out and compare all the facts: what was the starting point for weight loss or gain, what methods a person uses to lose weight, diets or exhausting workouts. For example, one of the characteristic symptoms of bulimia is active physical activity as a way to get rid of excess calories. A team of specialists takes a close look at the person's history to understand the cause of the disorder. It is also important for them to make sure that everything is fine with the gastrointestinal tract, because many people eat the same thing, but look different. This is important to consider and understand. In the process of treatment, specialists teach a person that the causes of the pathology need to be lived, and not chewed. Each of the helpers has their own task. A nutritionist tells how and what to eat, when and in what quantity. A psychiatrist or psychologist discusses feelings, and in the process of communication they come to possible ways of experiencing thoughts and emotions. Finding the cause of the pathology is already half the battle. Then the person himself decides whether to deal with this, in what way and why he needs it.

Prevent unhealthy relationships

There are no universal methods for preventing eating disorders. An information flow is important that will help orient an adult on what to do in this situation. Only specialists can understand the causes of RPP. For example, few people thought about and traced such a connection that our thoughts can trigger the process of overeating in the body. Depending on what we think, hormonal reactions occur in our body. When the thought process starts, we often feel bodily responses. For example, imagine a ripe and juicy lemon. You take it in your hands, cut it in half and drip the juice into your mouth. Do you feel? Saliva is secreted involuntarily. Even without seeing the lemon now, but thinking about it, the process starts. It's the same with hormones. When we rejoice, the body produces oxytacin, endorphin, serotonin, and with negative news - cortisol and adrenaline. Elevated levels of cortisol lead to the accumulation of body fat. That is, it is obvious that it is important to work on your thoughts and reactions. Since childhood, we keep them to ourselves, rarely talk heart to heart with someone and share experiences, often fearing condemnation. Specialists teach a person with eating disorders how to deal with thoughts and talk about their impact on us.

Balance is good everywhere: in rest, in work, and in food. It is valuable when an employer supports employees, gives them the opportunity to feel cared for, develop and keep their health under control. In modern companies, this trend is becoming more widespread. Employers set up a food zone for their employees, organize meals for them, or try to diversify their diet with healthy snacks. Not cookies and sandwiches, but, for example, vegetables and fruits. Unfortunately, it is not customary to talk about eating disorders, so people know little about these disorders. It is important to understand that not always weight gain, thinness, a desire to eat sweets or a feeling of hunger indicate the presence of some kind of eating disorder. We need to raise social awareness about them in order to prevent and minimize their spread and be able to cope if necessary. The state of our health is a reflection of our attitude towards ourselves. You need to take care of your own body and take care of yourself not from time to time, but regularly. This will allow us to preserve and increase the resource given to us by nature.