Daily Lessons from Life 21 July 2018 - Eating disorder
"From eating disorder to loving food: How one undergrad overcame her condition
Rashyr sought help when she became suicidal, and learnt not to use food as a coping mechanism for the depression and anxiety she faced.
Doctors said that there are several types of eating disorders, and that the most common are anorexia and bulimia. They said that anorexia involves severe restriction of food intake, resulting in a low body weight, often in a relatively short span of time, while bulimia involves eating, followed by compensatory measures to get rid of the ingested food, such as by purging.
Dr Ng said that almost half of the cases at the clinic fall in the category of anorexia, 30 per cent are bulimia and the rest are Binge Eating Disorder and unspecified eating disorders. Symptoms of anorexia include consistent excuses to avoid mealtimes or situations involving food, denial of hunger and feeling fat or overweight despite dramatic weight loss.
Symptoms of bulimia include evidence of purging behaviours, like self-induced vomiting, laxative or diuretic abuse, and creation of complex lifestyle schedules or rituals to make time for binge and purge sessions, and withdrawal from usual friends and activities he said.
Eating disorders can have a serious impact on the physical, emotional and social well-being of sufferers, Dr Ng said. Depending on the type of eating disorder, they could suffer a myriad of physical issues.
These include cardiovascular complications such as low heart pressure and irregular heart rhythm that could be fatal, gastrointestinal difficulties and infertility.
"At times, co-morbid psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder may surface and these conditions would need to be addressed adequately as well," Dr Ng said.
However, eating disorders can be treated. Dr Chee said that treatment of an eating disorder follows a multi-disciplinary team approach of trained psychiatrists, psychologists, dietitians and other allied health professionals to support the treatment and recovery process."
The KEY messages here are:
1. male n female can fall prey to eating disorder;
2. it can lead to serious physical n psychological negative effects;
3. sometimes the cause of eating disorder could be psychological conditions like anxiety n depression. i.e. not always fr physical to psychological but also in the reverse manner;
4. you CANNOT scold the person to overcome the eating disorder evrn if u hv the best of intention! Good intention must produce good results! If it did not, it must be one had not done right!!;
5. eating disorder CAN be treated with a multidisciplinary approach n with a lot of supports from the patients' family n friends! Medical doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, dieticians, etc. working together CAN help patients.
May the young lady stay healthy n hv a wonderful futute ahead!!