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Eating Disorders
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Many women have such an unhealthy body image that it becomes distorted. That means that you look in the mirror and see an image of yourself that doesn’t exist. You might think you are fat, when you’re really underweight. You completely blow your flaws out of proportion, or even invent flaws, and become so preoccupied with them that your perception of yourself is unreal. This is a sign of a problem, and if you think your have a distorted body image, it’s best to seek help. That’s difficult for most women with distorted body images, because they are so wrapped up in the distortion that they can’t acknowledge they have a problem. The most obvious issue relating to this distorted body image is the development of eating disorders. Eating disorders are serious psychological conditions that can be extremely, permanently damaging to your health. Eating disorders, if not treated, can be fatal. You might think that eating disorders are for your daughter, or your little sister. But eating disorders affect more and more adult women every year. It doesn’t get any easier as you get older.

Anorexia Nervosa is the deliberate resistance to maintaining an acceptable body weight, specifically by refusing to eat. Anorexia is characterized by an intense fear of weight gain and a severely distorted body image. Anorexia is often accompanied by denial, or the refusal to acknowledge that there is a problem. Anorexia, like all eating disorders, is a lifelong condition that never goes away. You can get treatment and regain your health, but you will always be affected to some degree by anorexia. Anorexia is treated through therapy, support groups and psychological treatment. If anorexia gets too far, you might have to be monitored and force-fed at a hospital. It may seem absurd to let anorexia get this far, but the refusal to eat easily becomes an obsession that many women become consumed by. There are many other health concerns involved in anorexia, some long-term and others short-term.

Bulimia is an eating disorder characterized by bingeing (overeating) and compensatory behavior to counter the bingeing, namely self-induced vomiting. Bulimics also abuse laxatives, fast, or compulsively exercise in order to compensate for the bingeing. Bulimics will eat a large amount of food in one sitting, and then feel guilty or out of control. This triggers the vomiting or compensatory behavior. Some bulimics will vomit after eating anything, even small meals and snacks. Bulimia is obviously detrimental to your health, with many other health concerns associated with it. Like anorexia, bulimia is treated through therapy, support groups and psychological treatment.

Binge-eating is recurrent overeating, characterized by feelings of guilt and loss of control after the binge. As opposed to bulimia, a binge-eater (or a compulsive overeater) will not use compensatory behavior to counter the binge. A binge-eater might feel disgusted or ashamed after overeating. Binge-eaters also tend to eat in private, keep the problem a secret and even hide food. Binge-eaters often eat when they aren’t hungry. Binge eating can lead to obesity and the health problems associated with obesity. Binge eating is a psychological condition that is treated through therapy, support groups and psychological treatment.