The term eating disorders conjures in the minds of many pictures of boy crazy teenagers who want to slim down for a prom dress or something only women have. However, the reality of EDs is much, much more insidious than that.
Eating disorders affect millions of people of all ages and 25-40% (depending on the disorder) are men.
This article is the first in a series tackling the topic of eating disorders. This piece includes; what EDs are, what causes them, who is affected, and how they are related to complex post-traumatic stress disorder.
What are the Eating Disorders and Who Gets Them?
Anyone under the correct circumstances can develop an eating disorder whether it be eating too much or too little. A severe illness may be such a traumatic experience that in order to feel in control once more over one’s own life a person might use the control over their food. However, more commonly people who develop an eating disorder may have inherited it through genetics or suffered early in life at the hands of an abuser.
The answer to what are eating disorders may surprise you as some forms may seem ordinary. Eating disorders are among the top ten leading causes of disability among young women and anorexia nervosa has the highest death rate of all the mental health disorders (Mathers, et. al., 2000). There are actually six types of eating disorders, however, the most common of disordered eating problems include bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating disorder (Millar, et. al., 2005).
For more information on CPTSD, including resources and materials to help in healing and living with Complex PTSD symptoms, head over to CPTSDfoundation.org.