Anorexia and Bulimia are very serious eating disorders that can manifest immediate and future health concerns, sometimes long range concerns depending upon how long the disorder exists. If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, please don’t wait. Seek information and get help.
Anorexia and Bulimia, here are 5 questions people ask about eating disorders:
1. Anorexia – What is it? Anorexia is an eating disorder that is typically developed through restrictions of the diet. Not eating anything or not eating enough of what is necessary for the body to maintain good health. This may happen every day or it may happen in spurts with periods of seemingly healthy eating.
2. Bulimia – What is it? Bulimia is an eating disorder that is typically developed through binging and purging behaviors. Binging is eating too much, or over eating, at a sitting and purging is normally induced by vomiting or taking laxatives. Like anorexia, this behavior may happen every day or it may happen periodically when stress or inability to cope with daily life takes over.
3. Who is affected by these disorders? The high majority, about 9 out of 10, of cases affect young girls. These young girls are usually good students with pleasant personalities who go out of their way to please others. Many are involved in social activities, sports, clubs, etc.
4. Are there certain “at risk” ages? There are two groups of ages that are higher at risk. There is the 11-13 age group, the pre-teens, and then there is the 16-18 age group. Both of these age groups are high stress ages where there are body development changes, the hormones kick in, peer pressure introduces itself, and they start seeing themselves as women instead of girls.
5. WHY would they develop these behaviors? Eating disorders are hereditary. If you know of someone in the family history who had an eating disorder, watch those around you in the family. They are already predisposed to having this condition. Another reason may be a lack of personal security or self esteem. Other reasons could be a painful trauma in their lives; loss of loved one, separation from a loved one, or abuse.
No matter why an eating disorder is developed, it is important to remember that the disorder is not the core issue at hand. The disorder is the cause of an underlying issue happening in the child’s life. The disorder probably will not stop or be treated until the underlying core issue has been resolved and brought out into the open.
If you suspect your child of having an eating disorder, please seek treatment for them immediately. They need help NOW!