This February, the annual National Eating Disorders Awareness Week will be celebrated to commemorate the awareness and information dissemination against eating disorder. This awareness campaign aims to equip the people on the warning signs and treatment options for eating disorders as well as the support the patient can get from people around them such as family and friends.
This disorder mostly affects adolescents and the young women. In this period or age, they tend to keep and maintain a body figure in which even the food they eat is sacrificed and being affected.
During this week, thousands of people have cooperational works holding small talks in every community to disseminate the information about eating disorders. It will be a collective effort from the volunteers, campaigners, eating disorder professionals, healthcare providers and even those individuals who want to help in raising the awareness for early prevention.
This eating disorder mostly affects college students where pressure is more evident due to the pressures of college life and other reasons which contribute to the development of the disorder. That is why it is most important to let the public know about this disorder and raise awareness.
There are different types of eating disorders. Symptoms are commonly overlooked until the damage is undeniably obvious. An eating disorder is a bio-psycho-social illness and remember it’s not a lifestyle choice.
Anorexia – this disorder often occurs during the puberty stage. This type involves intentionally starving one’s self because they feel that they are overweight. The topic about food and weight becomes an obsession to them. They have strange eating rituals and refuse to eat right. Keeping their weight down to a minimum is what they always have in mind. The scariest part of this is that they tend not to consume food even if they are bone thin.
Bulimia – just like anorexia, this eating disorder is common for women but unlike the first one this is defined as excessive eating, and then afterwards, ridding yourself of the food you consumed through vomiting. This process or state is called as “purging”.
Binge Eating Disorder – recurrent episodes of binge eating. It is the abnormal consumption of food a person would normally eat in a meal period. There is no specific food, just the amount of any food taken in by the body. It usually occurs in secrecy for people having this kind of disorder are afraid for it to be known by people around them.
Common Signs of Eating Disorder
- Extreme weight loss
- Binge eating or purging
- The need to know your weight yourself several times a day
- Excessive exercise
- Avoiding meals or wanting to eat alone
- Viewing yourself as fat even if you have lost weight
- Preoccupied in counting calories
Once someone is properly diagnosed with this kind of disorder, there will be a lot of things to consider preventing further damage it can bring to the sufferer. The road of recovering takes a lot from the patient so it is very important also as a friend or family member to provide any kind of support they can give.