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Indian Eating Disorder Treatment Resources & Symptoms

10 June, 2021 Ayesha Sana

Eating disorders are mental illnesses characterized by obsessive and persistent thinking about food and nutrition. If eating disorder symptoms are not treated, they can lead to negative health implications, co-occurring conditions, and substantial social disturbances.

An eating disorder can be of the following types:

  • Anorexia Nervosa:- Excessive anxiety of weight gain, skewed body image, and calorie restriction are all symptoms.
  • Bulimia Nervosa:- Binge eating episodes occur on a regular basis, during which a person consumes a huge amount of food but feels unable to control how much or even what they are eating. Caloric restriction, extreme exercise, or off-label use of diuretics or laxatives, as well as self-induced vomiting, are all common after binge eating episodes.
  • Binge eating disorder:- When a person loses control over how much food they eat, they develop binge eating disorder. They will eat an excessive amount of food and will often feel bad or disgusted after the event is done.
  • Restrictive food intake disorder:- When a person reduces their calorie demands on purpose. Supplements are often used to compensate for nutritional inadequacies in people with ARFID.
  • Pica:- When a person consumes items that are not considered food and have no nutritional value on a regular basis. Pica is caused by eating dirt or plaster, for example.
  • Rumination disorder:- For at least a month, someone regurgitates, re-swallows, or spits out their meals.
  • Other specifies eating disorder:- (OSED)When a person fits some of the criteria for the illnesses listed above but not all of them. For example, if someone purges but does not binge, or if someone restricts calories and has a skewed body image, but their weight is within the normal range.
  • Unspecifies eating disorder:- When someone does not match any of the aforementioned criteria for a formal eating disorder diagnosis, but their food and calorie intake concerns cause them substantial mental distress and disturbance in their everyday lives.

Indian Eating Disorder

Anorexia and bulimia are linked to parental overprotection and control, according to eating disorder research.Enmeshed parenting,this style may show as parents being heavily active in problem-solving, decision-making, and goal-setting for their children. As a result, the child either becomes overly reliant and struggles to flourish on their own in daily life, or the youngster perceives a lack of control and seeks to reclaim it by other means, such as restricting food intake and eating habits.

One link in the web of eating disorder risk factors, both in the West and in India, is comments from friends and family that reinforce a thin ideal. Body dissatisfaction, binge eating and purging, and excessive weight control behaviors have all been linked to weight-related teasing and criticism, according to studies. Weight-related observations are routinely discussed in a matter-of-fact manner in India. While the comments may be well-intentioned – at the very least, they are common and socially acceptable, as Myesha puts it, like small talk about weather fluctuations – their impact on at-risk individuals can be much more profound, potentially driving them to extreme eating behaviors in order to maintain a perceived optimum range of weight or beauty.

Though not a proven risk factor, Indian attitudes on food and etiquette may contribute to or maintain an eating issue in some persons. Food is a vehicle or tool of socialising in this context, and persons diagnosed with eating disorders frequently discuss the difficulties they face in addressing their disorder in this social setting.These sociocultural elements may, in the worst-case scenario, contribute to an eating problem when paired with additional genetic, biochemical, social, and environmental factors. In some situations, they might lead to binge eating and a negative body image.

Eating disorders, on the other hand, are a result of an individual's environment; our surroundings shape us, and vice versa. More research into these particular characteristics is obviously required, but until then, understanding will enable Indian families to offer a supportive environment for someone who is at risk of developing an eating problem – and to provide them the care they require if and when they are diagnosed.

Symptoms

  • Extreme aversion to gaining weight
  • Exercising is a must-do for everyone (in case of Anorexia & Bulimia)
  • An unhealthy fixation on their own appearance
  • The importance of body weight cannot be overstated. Consider oneself to be overweight or obese.
  • Deprive yourself of food or adopt bad eating habits.
  • Count calories excessively and only eat small amounts of food.
  • Wear baggy garments to conceal your weight loss or gain.
  • Stomach aches on a regular basis
  • The menstrual cycle is lost or disrupted.
  • Food-related meal times and social events should be avoided.
  • Friends, family, and society in general suffer from social withdrawal.
  • Moodiness, irritability, depression, and anxiety are all symptoms of depression.
  • The sensation of being powerless

Treatment

People that suffer from it are typically ashamed to accept it and live-in denial, so they go untreated. Eating disorders are not curable overnight, and there are no prescription medications to help with such psychiatric diseases; nevertheless, treatment is accessible to those who seek it! Counsellors, medical practitioners, dieticians, and psychiatrists should all be consulted by anyone suffering from such problems. Eating disorders can be treated through therapy, love and support from family and friends, and the development of a positive mindset.