The last week of February is observed as eating disorder awareness week, highlighting its importance in the current scene. It is observed to educate people on eating disorders, make it normal among people of different age groups and encourage people to participate as they are, and not how they should be.
Eating disorder is the second deadliest mental illness and thus the major goal of this week is to highlight and give a voice of hope to marginalized individuals and communities because the demographics are such that they are often underrepresented when it comes to eating disorders. It aims to raise awareness to fight systematic biases and encourage people from all backgrounds, age groups and demographics to come forward and share their experiences.
An eating disorder is not generally the talk of the town but it is a complex mental disorder that is caused by a variety of factors including biological, social, environmental. Biological includes dieting, puberty and genetics. Psychological include anxiety, trauma and depression. Social includes weight consciousness/comments, teasing, body image issues.
The most commonly diagnosed eating disorders include binge eating disorder (BED), bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa, avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), other specified feeding or eating disorders (OSFED). The good thing is that there is much more awareness about it than a few years ago. Today, the availability of therapies and diagnoses are is higher for people with eating disorders.
There are still certainly a lot of stigmas related to an eating disorder that makes one believe that it makes one weak and selfish. It is treated as abnormal and people go to great lengths to hide it without realizing how important is it to have a healthy relationship with your food and body. They also think that an eating disorder is a reflection of a person’s character which leads them to suffer without sharing with anyone.
To conclude, all I would say is, all eating disorders are care-worthy and deserve all the treatment and attention like any other disorder. A lot of times, people doubt whether they are not well or unwell enough to go and get themselves treated. And that my friend, is the beginning of a lack of self-care/awareness. The symptoms might be different or the cause might vary but whenever it strikes, it deserves all the attention and care as we all know how does the pattern of our food intake make us or break us.
Know your Author!!