Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are serious mental health problems and no two suffers will have the same underling psychological factors and whilst we have learnt a great deal more about eating disorders in recent years, and through more international research and studies into eating difficulties and eating disorders, a person centred approach is still very much relevant today for the right support and care plan to be effective and for recovery to be a real possibility.
Eating disorders are complex mental health problems that have a number of underlying causes which can include neurochemical changes, genetics, lack of confidence or self-esteem, perfectionist personality traits, problems such as bullying, or difficulties with school work can all be triggers for the condition.
Some people attribute eating disorders to media and the increased importance that is placed on wanting or needing to have a certain body shape or type. People with eating disorders may feel that they can only ever be happy, successful or worthwhile if they had a certain body shape.
In every case, eating disorders severely affect the quality of life of the individual and those that care for them. They can affect how you socialise, relationships with other people, ability to learn, ability to work, and they have a severe impact on physical and mental illness.
Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness resulting from medical complications associated with them not including suicide.
Research has found that at least 20% of people living with anorexia will die prematurely from their condition. Bulimia is also associated with severe medical complications as does those with binge eating disorders who often experience the medical complications associated with obesity.
It is important to know however that eating disorders can be beaten and that it is possible for anyone living with an eating disorder to recovery, but recovery from eating disorders does mean that the individual will need to learn how to develop a new relationship with food for the rest of their life.