Mental health and well-being - Part 3: Need to overcome eating disorders for a happy life

Mental health and well-being – Part 3: Need to overcome eating disorders for a happy life

Eating disorders are mental disorders with serious debilitating impact on health, productivity, and relationships. According to the “Epidemiology of Eating Disorders,” published in 2011, 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States suffer from a clinical eating disorder at one point in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder or an eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS).

A major contributor to the development of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa is body dissatisfaction where people tend to judge their body according to certain parameters. They are more concerned about flaunting a flawless look and could go to any extent to achieve this. Eating disorders are categorized as mental illness because of the following reasons:

  • Restricting food intake, binging and purging are associated with changes in the brain structure, metabolism and neurochemistry and these factors make it exceedingly difficult to change the behavioral patterns of individuals with eating disorders.
  • Eating disorders are linked to cognitive and emotional impairment that can affect the ability to carry out day-to-day activities.
  • Such disorders are life-threatening illnesses that pave the way for numerous medical complications to take root.

Important facts about eating disorders

  • Eating disorders are serious mental health conditions: Such disorders are bio-psychosocial diseases that can seriously impact one’s health, productivity and relationship. They are real, complex mental conditions that can pose a significant threat to life, if it gets out of hand.
  • They are not women-specific disorders: Men and women both have insecurities about the way they look which can contribute to the development of an eating disorder, although more women than men are afflicted with eating disorders.
  • They can affect all aspects of life: Eating disorders can consume one’s life. It can impact the relationships with family members, friends and coworkers. It can also lower one’s performance in education and at work. Individuals with eating disorders can experience their thoughts, emotions, attitudes and behaviors to be revolving only around their weight and food.
  • Individuals with such disorders cannot just get over it: One cannot simply choose to eat right to cure eating disorder. Such disorders affect people’s perception regarding their body image that tend to dictate their habits and behavior and these aspects cannot change overnight. Even the treatment for eating disorders concentrates on altering one’s thoughts and behaviors over a course of time.
  • Eating is more sophisticated for individuals with eating disorders: Such individuals tend to scrutinize the type of food they eat and how they consume it. Eating less amounts of food can take even longer than those without any eating disorders because they introspect how the food will affect their figure. Sometimes, such thoughts can be overwhelming.
  • They are life-threatening problems: Mortality rates for anorexia nervosa are the highest among any psychiatric disorder. It is 12 times higher than all the causes of death for females aged between 15 and 24 years.

Path to recovery

The line of treatment for eating disorders depends on the patient’s bio-psychosocial assessment. Care can be provided in specialized health care facilities under the supervision of experts like therapist, dietician, psychiatrist and primary care physician.

If you or a loved one is suffering from any mental illness, including eating disorders, contact the Colorado Mental Health Help for any queries regarding mental health rehab in Colorado. Eating disorders can impact various aspects of one’s life and can make people susceptible to other physical health conditions. Contact our 24/7 helpline number 866-899-5063 or chat online to connect with the best mental health treatment centers in Colorado. One should not delay the treatment or things can worsen with time.


Read the rest of the series, “Mental health and well-being:”

Part 1: People addicted to drugs prone to mental disorders

Part 2: Tips to help people with mental illness