What are Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders can be caused by different environmental factors in an individual’s life. Some common influences that are seen within school-aged children and adolescents are bullying, fad diets, and social media.
Common Eating Disorders
There are two major eating disorders: anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by a restriction of food and purging, which can be caused by vomiting or use of laxatives, and a 15 percent weight loss. Bulimia nervosa is characterized by binge eating followed by vomiting or use of laxatives and a normal or above average weight.
Some behaviors that can point towards an eating disorder can include but are not limited to:
- Not eating
- Not being able to stop eating when stressed
- Excessive laxative use
- Forcing oneself to vomit after meals
- Excessive exercising
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Mood swings
- Weight loss/gain
What to do if You Suspect an Eating Disorder
If you suspect yourself or a loved one might have an eating disorder, take time to openly talk with a trusted friend or family member. Opening up can be an extremely hard thing to do. It is important to know that you are not alone in what you are battling. Talking to a healthcare professional can help.