Psychological Effects of Eating Disorders

Psychological effects of eating disorders are often just as damaging as the physical effects that come as a result of an eating disorder. The psychological effects of eating disorders are what makes the eating disorders so tough to recover from in the first place.

The psychological effects of eating disorders are usually what starts an individual with having the compulsion to severely restrict what he or she eats and how much. These psychological effects of eating disorders make the individual feel like they have less control over their life. They also exhibit symptoms of low self-esteem based on how they look as well as have other physical insecurities about their weight and appearance. They might be trying to live up to an unrealistic standard of beauty and put themselves down when they fail to meet that unreachable standard. Unfortunately, this kind of mentality is so common among teen girls and young women, which account for why 90 percent of the individuals with eating disorders are women and most cases of eating disorders begin with teens. 

Unfortunately the psychological effects of eating disorders only worsen as the disease worsens. The individual feels less in control as time goes on, so they try harder and harder to regulate their eating, regulate their workout schedule and more drastic behaviors to try and regain control over their life. They often do this by restricting eating, excessive exercise, forced vomiting, binge eating and more. These physical behaviors often directly correlate to the psychological effects of eating disorders. The worse they get physically, the worse the symptoms also get psychologically. 

Other Psychological Effects of Eating Disorders:

Because many of the physical behaviors associated with eating disorders must be carried out in secret, this kind of secretive and compulsive behavior is also one of the psychological effects of an eating disorder. This kind of behavior is so controlled that it often leads to the individual becoming very isolated and withdrawn from family and friends as well as other activities they used to enjoy. Among the psychological effects of eating disorders also included are depression and anxiety. The teen may feel like she cannot live up to what everyone wants her to be, or what she thinks they want her to look like. In this case, she might binge eat and hide the fact that she throws up everything she eats. She will then find that she can no longer eat with her family and friends or they will notice her odd behavior, so she begins finding excuses not to eat with the family, or avoids hanging out with her friends altogether. She becomes very secretive in just about every part of her life, because the eating disorder is becoming all consuming. Those with eating disorders often find that the disease will eventually begin to take over just about every aspect of their day-to-day living. 

This is where the psychological effects of eating disorders work hand-in-hand with the physical symptoms. Getting help for the depression, anxiety and other emotional turmoil those with eating disorders face is all part of the first step to get help. That is why there are plenty of rehabilitation centers that are available specifically for those with eating disorders. There are also plenty of therapists, counselors and psychologists that are trained in assisting those with eating disorders. Unfortunately only about 20 percent of those with eating disorders actually seek help. That is probably why eating disorders constitute the highest fatality rate of any other mental illness. 

Getting help for an eating disorder is so important so that the psychological issues of an eating disorder do not continue to worsen the physical effects of eating disorders, which include brittle bones, calcium deficient, gastro intestinal issues, dehydration, heart problems, malnutrition and even death. Many of women and men die each year as a result of complications due to an eating disorders including heart attack and stroke. That is why it is so important to not ignore those tell-all psychological effects of eating disorders. 


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