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People with Eating Disorders are Not ‘Just Being Dramatic’

A skinny, anorexic young man holding a tape measure around his waist

A skinny, anorexic young man holding a tape measure around his waistWhile many find eating a pleasurable experience, there are also those who are hesitant to eat or who try to eat as little as possible—among these types are people with eating disorders. While those with anorexia or bulimia feel hunger, they avoid food. They also exercise too much and use laxatives and other extreme weight-loss strategies. These are among they typical hallmarks of those suffering from anorexia, one kind of eating disorder.

Extreme Measures to Control Weight

For people with an eating disorder, counting calories or controlling weight can easily become an obsession. Those with anorexia, for instance, don’t just worry about putting on weight; they go to extreme measures to maintain a low – often, a very low – weight. Eating disorder treatment centers and specialists note that this can lead to severe malnutrition, other serious health problems, and can even be fatal.

They are Serious Mental Illnesses

It is important to know that anorexia and other forms of eating disorders are psychiatric disorders. Unfortunately, many people fail to understand why people develop them. Many think that solving the problem is as easy as telling those with eating disorders to eat. It is best to keep in mind that telling them to eat and expecting them to do so is not always simple.

Lack of Awareness

Another sad part is, people with eating disorders sometimes experience bullying and discrimination, mainly because of lack of awareness and understanding on the part of the public. Many people believe that an eating disorder is only a lifestyle choice and a person who suffers from the condition is “just being dramatic.” However, this could not be farther from the truth. There are underlying reasons people develop eating disorders and someone dealing with the condition will likely need professional help to get better.

More Than About Eating

As eating disorders are complex problems, you can’t just ask someone, “Why can’t you just east?” Telling them that they are too thin or too fat and asking them to eat to or lose weight won’t necessarily solve the problem; on the contrary, this attitude may very well worsen the situation. It is, therefore, advisable to learn more about these disorders and try to understand what sufferers go through.

If you or someone you know is suffering from eating disorder, it is good to let them know that help is available. The goal of the treatment is not just about restoring the patient to a healthy weight, but also treating emotional issues and helping the patient develop a healthy relationship with food.

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