Eating Disorder: A Mental Health Issue

eating disorder

Various disorders affect the human body negatively. This disorder is characterized by irregular eating habits and severe distress or concern about body weight or shape.

This disorders could include inadequate or excessive food intake, which can ultimately damage an individual’s well-being. Some of the most common forms of eating disorders include Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder, and they affect both females and males.

Eating disorders could stem up at any stage in life but typically appear during the teen years or young adulthood. It has been identified as a medical illness (mental health issue); appropriate treatment can be highly efficient for many of the specific types of eating disorders. Researchers have been able to put together a series of factors that could cause this type of disease, they have been categorized into biological, psychological, and environmental factors. The biological factors include irregular hormone function, Genetics (the link between genes and eating habit), nutritional deficiency. The psychological factors include Negative body image, poor self-esteem. The environmental factors are: Family and childhood traumas, childhood sexual abuse, severe trauma, peer pressure among friends and co-workers

The common signs that are associated with a patient suffering from eating disorders include constant weight fluctuation, engaging in ritualistic eating patterns (like cutting food into tiny pieces, hiding food), depression or lethargic stage.

A particular case study of a patient suffering from Anorexia Nervosa (This type of eating disorder is characterized by an obsessive fear of gaining weight, refusal to maintain healthy body weight and an unrealistic perception of body image). This case study was carried out by Preeti Srinivasa,

She researched on a 25-year-old female, married for five years, educated up to 10th standard, a homemaker, hailing from an upper social class Hindu (Marvadi) family, living with husband’s family in Urban Bangalore;

She was presented to tertiary care center with complaints of a gradual loss of weight, recurrent episodes of vomiting, from a period of two years, menstrual irregularities from 1 year and amenorrhea since six months, with a likely precipitating factor being husband’s critical comment on her weight. She was reported to be dull and inactive most of the time. Symptoms of weight loss were noticed, and she was found to be uncooperative during psychiatric interview sessions. After much probing, she expressed low mood, easy fatigability, apathy, decreased attention and concentration, bleak, and pessimistic ideas about the future. Even though no suicidal thoughts were in view, it was vital that she was kept in eye-sight for most of the time. Some information’s were extracted from her husband, he revealed an incident during their early days of marriage when he had casually remarked of her being slightly heavy near her flanks and thighs and that she would look more beautiful if she reduced it. Since then, her intake of food decreased, she started keeping to herself and started starving herself.

Preventive health procedures that can be employed in the case of Anorexia Nervosa include psychotherapy and close supervision by a family member.