As humans, we have different eating habits that we have learned when we were young and carried into adulthood. Others were acquired and developed through the years. Some people are picky eaters; others are compulsive eaters. There are individuals who are voracious eaters, and there are health-conscious ones.
Meanwhile, some eating habits may indicate an eating disorder. Such condition is depressing, alarming, and embarrassing at times. To avoid getting into that situation, it pays to know some important facts about eating disorders:
1. Binge eaters and anorexics may experience similar patterns contributing to their condition.
Both eat and then feel uncomfortable. But unlike the binge eater who does not purge, a bulimic does self-induced vomiting after overeating. Because of this, a binge eater usually gains weight while a bulimic loses weight.
2. Compulsive eaters are not comfortable eating with other people.
They have a feeling that the people around are watching their food intake. They feel ashamed and depressed about their condition.
3. Criticisms won’t heal an eating disorder.
Negative comments won’t motivate binge eaters to change their eating habits. Overcoming the disorder is not all about discipline. Understanding and compassion will help the patients.
4. Eating disorders make the brain release chemicals.
As you overeat, the brain releases chemicals like dopamine and opioids. The former is a neurotransmitter and the latter is an active ingredient in heroin. These chemicals make the disorder really addictive.
5. Men also suffer from eating disorders.
Men also suffer from eating disorders, contrary to the belief that the conditions are only faced by women. Men may not be comfortable asking for help or they are not aware of their condition. The mortality rate for men could be higher than that for women due to less awareness of the issue.
As responsible individuals, patients should not hesitate to get help for their eating disorders. There are ways to treat these chronic illnesses, starting with online eating disorder screening, followed by evaluation, referrals, and an examination by medical professionals.
At present, not many people know and understand what eating disorders are all about. It pays to be in the know.