Updated: Jan 18
Eating disorders have many variations in type and causes. They are all psychological disorders with intense consequences if continued without treatment. According to Healthline, up to 13% of youth (under the age of 20) in America experience these eating disorders.
What causes these eating disorders?
In some cases, these disorders are possibly caused by genetic means, and this can be easier to diagnose or predict. Primarily, eating disorders are caused by societies where model figures are portrayed to have a thinner body and a smaller diet. Being slim is a cultural ideal in most places, and this causes teens, mostly girls, to fit those mental requirements. In many other cases, eating disorders are the complete opposite. A person will eat large amounts of food in each meal.
What are examples of the most common eating disorders?
The most common eating disorder is anorexia nervosa. Contrary to popular belief, anorexia is not just refusing a meal, but in fact, anorexia has many subcategories. The first one, which is known as "restriction", is when an individual refuses to eat anything in the fear of gaining weight or in attempts to lose weight. In some cases, individuals will include a strict workout plan. The second category is less known about anorexia and it is binge-eating. An individual will consume large or small amounts of food and regurgitate right after. This is quite similar to bulimia, where an individual purges after eating.
How can you help someone with an eating disorder?
If you suspect your friend has an eating disorder, the best you can do is let them know that appearances don't matter, but nevertheless, they are beautiful inside and out. Teach those around you to love themselves and their bodies and spread positivity. Additionally, like most other mental disorders, seeking therapy is not a bad option. Therapy gives someone a chance to talk about their real feelings and a trained professional will be more knowledgeable about how to help the situation.