Eating disorders are conditions defined by abnormal eating habits that may involve either insufficient or excessive food intake to the detriment of an individual’s physical and mental health. Bulimia Nervosa and Anorexia Nervosa are perhaps the most common, well known specific forms of eating disorders however, other types of eating disorders include Compulsive Overeating, Binge Eating Disorder (BED) and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS).
So, what’s the cause? There are many causes of eating disorders, including biological, psychological and/or environmental abnormalities. Unfortunately, the precise cause of eating disorders is not entirely understood, however there is evidence that it may be linked to other medical conditions and situations. Cultural idealization of thinness and youthfulness have contributed to eating disorders affecting diverse populations. One study showed that girls with ADHD have a greater chance of getting an eating disorder than those not affected by ADHD. Another study suggested that women with PTSD, especially due to sexually related trauma, are more likely to develop anorexia nervosa. One study showed that foster girls are more likely to develop bulimia nervosa; children who, as wards of the state, were placed in orphanages or foster homes are especially susceptible to developing disordered eating patterns. Some think that peer pressure and idealized body-types seen in the media are also a significant factor. And some research shows that, for certain people, there are genetic reasons why they may be prone to developing an eating disorder.Recent studies have found evidence a correlation between patients with bulimia nervosa and substance use disorders. In addition, anxiety disorders and personality disorders are common occurrences with clients of eating disorders.
While proper treatment can be highly effective for many suffering from specific types of eating disorders, the consequences of eating disorders can be severe, including death. Eating disorders are serious mental disorders that need to be treated as such.