- Eating disorders have the highest mortality rates among psychiatric disorders[i].
- Anorexia Nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder in adolescence.
- Of those surviving, 50% recover, whereas 30% improve and 20% remain chronically ill.
The causes of eating disorders are wide-ranging, however stress and trauma are thought to play significant roles therefore the treatment may involve work with a number of professionals.
On an everyday level, there are many people who struggle with their weight and have an unhealthy relationship with food which is one of the biggest challenges people can face because food is something everybody requires. Therefore even if you have a poor relationship with food it’s still something that can’t abstained from.
The fact that food is required means that whatever happens the person has to eat whatever the quality of its nutritional values. Moreover people battling with their weight and doing countless diets are invariably failing because they are trying to modify their behaviour without addressing the emotional components as most of the time people aren’t eating just to satisfy physical hunger.
When people eat to relieve their emotional stress / discomfort rational decision making often goes out of the window thus any attempts to address this issue needs to be taken into account to facilitate change at a deeper level including identifying emotional triggers.
To start, you have to become clear about whether you are an emotional eater. It includes some of these questions:
- Do you eat to feel better (to calm and soothe yourself when you’re sad, mad, bored, anxious, etc.)?
- Do you regularly eat until you’ve stuffed yourself?
- Do you feel powerless or out of control around food?
The main causes for eating disorders include learnt behaviour within the family or as a coping mechanism as a result of trauma. To build a healthy relationship with food where all the various strategies can be properly used a lot of work needs to be done on the emotional dysregulation which drive the emotional eating.