#MentalHealthMonth | Eating Disorders

For the month of May, Defying Shadows will be joining the Mental Health Awareness Month by sharing a post daily on a different type of Mental Illness or “Shadow” that people commonly struggle with. Join us in creating awareness and working to end the stigma that goes with these topics! Today we have Amanda Ogden sharing on Eating Disorders. ~ Defying Shadows Team

Eating Disorder is a serious mental illness, which is characterised by complex emotional and physical addictions. Without the proper treatment eating disorders can lead to mood swings, physical problems, and potential death. Some of the conditions in which are associated with Eating Disorders are the obsession with food, weight and appearance to the degree in which a person’s health, relationships and daily activities are adversely affected.

Young women commonly affect Eating Disorders; they can be widespread and impact people of all ages and sexes. Over the past ten years, the number of men with an eating disorder has more than doubled.

The main underlying issues which are associated with an Eating Disorder include low self-esteem, depression, feelings of loss of control, feelings of worthlessness; identify concerns, family communication problems and the inability to cope with emotions.

Below are some of the main types of Eating Disorders: –

  • Anorexia Nervosa – This is a self imposed starvation. Anorexia Nervosa is a serious, life threatening disorder which usually stems from underlying emotional causes.       Although people with anorexia nervosa are obsessed with food, they continually deny their hunger. Anorexia Nervosa can cause server medical problems and even lead to death.
  •  Bulimia Nervosa – is a serious eating disorder that can be fatal if left untreated. People who suffer from Bulimia Nervosa routinely binge, by consuming large amounts of food in a short amount of time, and immediately purge, ridding their bodies of the just eaten food by self including vomiting, taking enemas, or abusing laxatives or other medication. It can even lead to serious life threatening problems such as heart damage, kidney damage, serve dental damage and injury to all parts of the digestive system
  •  Compulsive Eating Disorder – can affect both men and women, but appears twice as often among women. Those with Compulsive Eating Disorder suffer from episodes of uncontrolled eating or bingeing followed by periods of guilt and depression.       Compulsive overrating disorder may cause a person to continue eating event after they become uncomfortably full.

Getting Help

Admitting to yourself that you need help is a brave and difficult step to take, but once you have, the question of “what next?” can be very daunting. Treatment is a very individual thing, and what works for one person may be very different to what works for another. Your recovery journey belongs to you, and is more effective when you are the driver.

A medical practitioner should perform an initial assessment, preferably one with experience in the area of eating disorders, to assess the severity and risk of the eating disorder and to look for physical health problems. For most people, their GP/Doctor is the first point of call.

amandaAmanda Ogden is from Sydney Australia, and has spent the past 13 years working within the welfare industry in both administration and case management assisting people with mental health issues, mild intellectual disabilities, acquired brain injuries, drug & alcohol, homelessness gain employment. She also loves travelling, creating jewellery, music, friends and family.

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