Is Eating Disorders A Mental Illness?

Many wonder if a person can be suffering from an eating disorder and not know it. I believe the answer is a resounding yes. An eating disorder is a mental illness that starts within the mind. A person with an eating disorder does not realize that what they are doing is wrong. Oftentimes people who suffer from anorexia and bulimia will deny that there is anything wrong.

 

In America, anorexia and bulimia are the most common eating disorders. Each of these is a serious illness that has deadly consequences. Anorexia can cause death by asphyxiation and malnutrition. Bulimia can cause permanent damage to the brain, heart and other organs. Anorexia also causes a stunted growth in its victims. There are many other complications that come with this disorder including high blood pressure, heart disease, depression and low self esteem.

 

One of the biggest misconceptions about eating disorders is that you have to have a lot of weight to have a good diet. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Most people that are suffering from an eating disorder are extremely thin. The only reason they have gained the weight is due to obsessive compulsive behaviors that force them to eat even when they are not hungry.

 

Have you ever heard of bulimia? People that suffer from bulimia actually consume so much food that they gain a pound each day. This extreme amount of weight is often the result of a person bingeing on foods that they do not like. Many think that these are all eating disorders, but in fact this is a type of overindulgence.

 

An eating disorder does not usually require treatment. In fact, there is rarely a medical cure for any eating disorder. The main thing that you have to do to help treat an eating disorder is to get rid of the source of stress that is causing the disorder. Anorexia is often times a cause of stress because they are trying to lose weight. This causes a stress in their body that causes them to develop an eating disorder.

 

People who are suffering from an eating disorder are going to continue to develop an eating disorder until they gain the weight they want to gain. Most of the time, the psychological issue that is the root cause of the disorder is ignored. Psychologists believe that the disorder develops when there is a mental issue present first. It goes much deeper than that. Anorexia is never a mental illness, but it can be a gateway into mental disorders if the stress that is causing the anorexia is never removed.

 

As strange as it may seem, it is true that an eating disorder is more common in girls than in boys. There is not one specific reason why girls develop an eating disorder. It could be a result of them are being criticized a lot by other children or it could be because of an abusive situation they may have experienced in the past. Girls tend to internalize things such as how they look, what they eat, and how they act so everything is a reflection of who they are as a person and that can lead them to developing eating disorders.

 

It is hard to answer are eating disorders as a mental illness? It’s very hard to say whether or not a certain disorder is mentally unhealthy. Some people will see it as the source of who they are as a person and if it is the case then there is nothing that you can do about it. However, there are ways to battle the disorder such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the use of hypnosis to change one’s self perception.