Understanding Eating Disorders and How They Affect the Lives of Many

Every year, thousands of people — both men and women — suffer from eating disorders. Based on data provided by National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), there are at least 30 million people in the U.S. who are suffering from this condition. To help us understand eating disorders, here are a few things people may not know:

People Can Recover

Unbeknownst to many and the most important fact, people with eating disorders can recover with proper treatment. Yes, it is a struggle to get help for eating disorders. However, the earlier patients seek treatment, the faster they can recover. That is why it’s important to have family and friends to surround them throughout these difficult times. Are there are chances of relapse? Sadly, yes. But, with proper guidance and early recognition, recovery is always possible.

It Is NOT a Choice

People often confuse an eating disorder as a lifestyle rather than an actual health condition. The truth, however, is it falls under the mental disorder category. Individuals who are suffering from this condition find it extremely hard to eat regularly. They’re not entirely conscious about the choices they’re making. Their minds say something different than what their body needs. As a result, they can’t simply decide on their own.

It Poses a Real Threat to a Person’s Well-Being

An eating disorder is a psychological condition. The medical world has long acknowledged that. It works the same way with phobias, depression, and anxiety disorders. What’s even worse is that the effects of eating disorders can manifest physically. Most of them suffer from severe organ failure due to extreme weight loss or weight gain.

Many Things Trigger It

We can trace back the development of an eating disorder to genetics. However, this doesn’t automatically mean that the condition hereditary. People whose parents had an eating disorder are just relatively more likely to develop one as well. This shouldn’t be something to worry about, though. Other factors often influence eating disorders. These include the environment, culture, and — in most cases — society.

Hopefully, this information widens your understanding as to what eating disorders are all about. Remember that these are conditions in which sufferers have to endure a lot. Many things cause eating disorders, and they impact a person’s overall well-being. But most importantly, individuals with eating disorders can receive treatment and recover.