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How And Why People Develop Eating Disorders

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This paper will discuss and explain the topic of eating disorders. This paper will explain how and why people develop things such as anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa. It will explain what researchers think is the reason why people struggle with such issues and how they can get help through many ways of treatment and how they can recover from this potentially deadly disorder. This severe type of mental disorder can destroy a peoples body and how they think, and getting help can be nearly impossible.

What Is An Eating Disorder

Eating disorders can happen to anyone at any time. Eating disorders are a mental illness that affects people’s emotions and how they think. People with eating disorders are constantly watching what they eat and how much food they consume in a day. They are always watching their weight on a scale, making sure they don’t gain anymore. Some of the most common types of eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. Anorexia is a type of disorder in which people worry about their weight and what type of food they eat. Some people with anorexia nervosa exercise constantly for hours at a time, eating very little, and monitoring their weight. They restrict the number of calories they take a day, even reducing the calorie intake every day. People think by looking at a person, you can tell if they have an eating disorder. And the truth is, you cannot. They may look healthy on the outside, but mentally and internally, they are suffering. Another is Bulemia Nervosa. This type of disorder involves the person binge eating and later the person with self induce vomiting. People with bulimia tend to have a lack of self-control with eating. They tend to eat too much and want to make themselves “feel better” by vomiting the food they ate so they feel as if they’ve never eaten. And the last is binge eating. This is a severe, life-threatening disorder in which people eat large amounts of food in one sitting. All of these can be life-threatening but is possible to get treatment once a person admits they have a problem. It can be difficult to admit to this problem and that is why people stay quiet for many years about it, so they do not hurt the people around them.

People develop eating disorders for many different reasons. Some people develop this because they do not like how their body looks. This can be called body dysmorphia, which is an obsessive disorder in which people have negative thoughts on their body and how it looks. People develop these disorders because they think society wants them to be thin and to be in shape and healthy. Some other reasons why they develop are due to genetics, biochemistry, or culture (ULifeLine, 2019). Researches have found that eat disorders can run in the family and tend to have a higher rate in children and siblings. With biochemistry, people with eating disorders can have higher levels of chemicals that help regulate one’s appetite, a person’s mood, sleep, and stress levels. People with bulimia and anorexia have a chemical called cortisol which is a stress hormone. Some researchers suggest that people with anorexia have too much serotonin, which can keep them in a constant state of stress. Another way people can have this is due to them lacking self-esteem, or may have trouble coping with one’s emotions. In our society, magazines or books can be labeled “How to lose weight” or “Dieting Foods”. Some other factors can be people looking at another’s body and think to themselves that they wish they had that frame and body shape. Family can play a significant role. A person may have had a troubled childhood or family problems. Both anorexia and bulimia can develop due to psychological issues and can cause serious health damage to one’s body.

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Types Of Treatment

Family members and close relatives or friends of a person who is suffering from an eating disorder want that person to seek help and treatment. Some forms of treatment include talking to a psychologist, a dietitian, or a medical specialist. Talking with a psychologist can help the person talk about what they are going through and how they can help them solve their problems. They can help provide medication and refer the person to a psychiatrist for further help. A dietitian can help the person develop a meal plan to help them get back to a healthy weight and help them overcome the fear of weight gain. Seeing a medical and dental specialist can help determine if you have developed any problems while the disorder was occurring. One way of treatment that many people will not go to is rehabilitation, because people assume they will force them to eat. And that is not the case. Rehab helps a person by giving them what they need and they help monitor their vital and weight but do not let the other person know how much they have gained to avoid them from worrying and to stop eating. They can help them work their way back into society and help stabilize their mental state. Within a few weeks or months, a doctor will see improvement, but the person receiving treatment will see it as them gaining or being forced to eat and to be healthy. “One of the greatest difficulties when struggling with an eating disorder is the feeling of complete isolation. The eating disorder has been compared to a ‘best friend’ or even ‘an abusive boyfriend’ as it takes on a role, rather than simply a mindset.


Recovery is a process and is a personal decision to make if they want to get help and if they want to recover from a deadly mental disorder. Recovery differs from person to person and can depend on how a person handles recovery. A person would have to recover their physical body, mental health, and emotional state. For people to stay in recovery and to help them recover, a person has to understand what triggers their problems and help them get more involved in activities and connect with other people. It is a difficult process for someone to recover, but once a person seeks help, they can enjoy life once again, and be with loved ones and friends, without having to worry about what they are eating or how many calories they consume. Some people can relapse during recovery, which can delay one’s recovery process. Much like drug or alcohol addiction, people in recovery can often relapse once or twice during their recovery. Some people can experience depression or anxiety when they let go of their eating disorder (Reach Out, 2019). Recovery is possible, but it’s a person’s choice whether they want to receive help or if they want to continue the dangerous lifestyle.


Eating disorders are becoming common in today’s society. People don’t see or want to help someone who has a mental illness, but when a person receives help and is on their road to recovery, they can live a better, more healthy lifestyle with friends and family members.

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How And Why People Develop Eating Disorders. (2021, August 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from
“How And Why People Develop Eating Disorders.” Edubirdie, 16 Aug. 2021,
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How And Why People Develop Eating Disorders [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Aug 16 [cited 2023 Jan 27]. Available from:
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