An eating disorder is a mental health condition that causes people to develop unhealthy eating habits and have distorted views of their appearance and body shape. Without help, eating disorders can be extremely damaging and can even be fatal.
Approximately 26% of people with eating disorders attempt suicide. In fact, the mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of all causes of death for females aged between 15-24 years old.
Eating distress around restricting, binge eating, purging, compulsive overeating, obesity, yo-yo dieting, orthorexia, (fixation around healthy eating), over exercising, self-esteem issues and fear of weight gain, can affect all genders at different times of life.
Some common myths surrounding eating disorders are:
Myth #1: Eating disorders are a choice to not eat enough food.
Fact: Eating disorders are complex medical and mental illnesses that people don’t choose.
Myth #2: Eating disorders only occur in females.
Fact: Although eating disorders are more common in females, they can affect anyone, regardless of their gender or sex.
Myth #3: I caused my child’s eating disorder.
Fact: Eating disorder researchers and clinical experts believe that eating disorders are caused by both environmental and genetic factors. People’s genes put them at risk to develop an eating disorder, and then different social pressures may cause them to develop the disorder.
Myth #4: Eating disorders are rare.
Fact: Eating disorders are the third most common chronic illness among adolescents after obesity and asthma.
Research shows that early intervention is one of the most important factors in preventing the illness from becoming chronic. The sooner treatment begins following an individual coming forward to ask for help, the better the outcome. With eating disorder treatment, 60% of patients make a full recovery. However, only 1 in 10 people with an eating disorder will seek and receive treatment.
We know that it takes huge courage to seek help for an eating disorder. It’s common for people to think that they aren’t ‘ill enough’ or they will be fine once a period of stress has finished. If you think you may have, or be developing, an eating disorder, it is really important to seek help as early as possible. Talk to one of our eating disorders specialists today.