Mental Health Awareness! Breaking the Stigma: Eating Disorders

I know mental health awareness month is over but this is the final post of the series and I did not want to not include it because it is a category of disorders that resonate personally for me.

Eating Disorders are commonly misunderstood, sometimes people think it is as simple as changing your eating habits, or just a lifestyle choice. This is not true at all. Eating disorders are a disturbance in a person’s eating behaviors that cause serious emotional and physical consequences. The big 3 most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder.

Anorexia Nervosa

This disorder is one in which the person suffering sees their body as overweight and continues to restrict food intake. Even as they become dangerously underweight the individual restricts calories to the point where they slowly die of starvation in severe cases. I attended a seminar by the Cambridge Eating Disorder Center where I was able to learn more about their work and how they help individuals with eating disorders. I was shocked to learn this disorder has the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder due to the complications medically from starvation and suicide.

This disorder may manifest in several ways, an individual might be severely underweight and continuing to try and lose weight. They might have brittle hair and nails, and also experience osteopenia or osteoporosis. it is common to suffer from anemia and be cold all the time when restricting food intake in anorexia.

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