Eating disorder, as the very name suggests, is a disorder in which a person either avoids eating altogether or eats in such a way that has a negative effect on his/ her physical as well as mental health. The most common eating disorders that are prevalent in the present times include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating. Apart from that, people might also suffer from orthorexia nervosa and selective eating disorder, though these disorder are not that common also. In this article, we will acquaint you with the various causes of eating disorders.
What Causes Eating Disorders
Too Many Changes
There are many people in this world who do not like drastic changes taking place in their life, such as the onset of puberty, entering high school or college, or major illness or death of someone close to them, and so on. More often than not, they feel as if such changes have made them lose their control over their life. With time, they end up falling prey to eating disorders. For instance, a girl entering puberty can arrest the menstrual cycle and delay other body changes by resorting to self-starvation (as in anorexia nervosa).
One of the most common as well as most important causes of eating disorders comprises of family problems. The people suffering from eating disorders are often noted to have extremely controlling parents, who keep a strict check on them. They indulge in eating disorders, in terms of control over their eating, as one of the first things in which they have exercised their will and decision making power. Lack of attention, love and care on the part of the parents can be another reason behind eating disorder, which seem to be a way to attract attention.
Social problems comprises of another one of the leading factors of eating disorders. In fact, it has been noticed that many of the people suffering from eating disorders have painfully low self-esteem. This might be because of the reason that they are teased about their appearance, have been shunned by the peers or have just experienced a breakup. They might think that all this happened because they are fat and fall prey to eating disorders, to become thin. On the other hand, they may start binge eating, to pass the lonely time.
Failure, be it at school, work or competitive events, can easily lead to eating disorders in people. Many of the eating disorders patients can be seen to have considered themselves to be perfectionists, with very high achievement expectations. As they suffer from defeat, their self-esteem takes a major dip and results in feelings of shame, guilt or self-worthlessness. They either start self-starvation, to lose weight and improve themselves, or indulge in binge eating and purging, to provide an escape from these feelings.
Going through severe trauma in life can also trigger eating disorders in an individual. In fact, a major proportion of the patients suffering from eating disorders have been seen to have history of sexual or physical abuse. Some of the people indulge in eating disorders, like binge eating, as an attempt to cope with their abuse or other traumatic event. On the other hand, there are people who want to turn themselves unattractive, either by becoming too thin or too fat, in order to avoid any unnecessary attention and thus, the abuse.