Eating disorders affect 10 million females and 1 million males in the United States. With so many people that need help flying under the radar, we all need to better educate ourselves on what eating disorders are and how to identify the problem.

Defined as, “an unhealthy relationship with food and weight that interferes with many areas of a person’s life,” it can be difficult in this day and age to identify when a diet or concern about health spirals into a dangerous and unhealthy lifestyle. With 4 out of 10 individuals who have either personally experienced an eating disorder or know someone who has, it is surprising that often we don’t know exactly what an eating disorder is or how to help.

The most common eating disorders include Bulimia Nervosa, Anorexia Nervosa, and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (several variations on multiple eating disorders).  Eating Disorders are commonly a result of trauma or negative situations, and the individual is trying to regain control.  While men are in the minority for eating disorders, some do struggle with the disorder, and they are in fact less likely than females to seek help. Athletes struggle with eating disorders as well. Though it may not be as noticeable because some people may view it as training; don’t be fooled, overeating and over exercising are signs of an unhealthy and dangerous lifestyle.

There is not one specific cause for eating disorders, but statistics have pointed to genetics, metabolism, psychological issues, and the current western culture that promotes thinness as the key factors in eating disorders to begin. People suffering from OCD, PTSD, and social anxiety disorder are at higher risk for developing unhealthy habits.

Eating disorders are a serious condition that require counseling. Four Winds Counseling Center provides families, individuals, and loved ones the ability to learn and help those with eating disorders at any stage. Connect with Melissa today to help those you love.