Most of us wait eagerly for our next meals and are relentless especially if we know our favourite one is being made. For some individuals, however, food causes a great deal of anxiety. It might look like they are consuming the same dishes as us but soon; intrusive thoughts and worries may seize their brains. Tendencies towards anxiety about food are often a part of living with an eating disorder. Eating disorders range across various spectrums; some may over count the calories that they are consuming where as some may be excessively picky about what they are eating, for such people even thinking about their next meal can be dreadful. A person with an eating disorder can be among us and we need to be more open about it. Even if you are suffering from an eating disorder or experience extreme anxiety when you are about to consume food, realizing that you are not alone may be helpful.
Anorexia nervosa is a common eating disorder especially in youngsters whose major symptom is very restricted eating patterns. People with this eating disorder typically experience intense anxiety and fear around eating. Symptoms: – Fear of gaining weight, fatigue, dizziness, guilt, depression, slow growth, compulsive behaviour, impulsiveness and anxiety.
Bulimia nervosa is also a common eating disorder in which they binge the food in large quantities. After the binge, they may attempt to purge the food they ate in order to eliminate calories and relieve discomfort. Purging can include: Vomiting, Laxatives, Diuretics, or Excessive exercise. The binge episode may begin because of anxiety. Eating is an activity that becomes very traumatic for them that they fear gaining weight or altering their body’s physical appearance. Bulimia nervosa is also more common in women than men. And usually develops around adolescence.
Research suggests nearly two thirds of the population experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. There is a certain terminology given to people who are put in a highly uncomfortable situation every time they sit to eat, which is known as Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID). It is a newer eating disorder classification. It’s used to describe individuals who eat very little food or avoid eating most foods. They may become overwhelmed by anxiety and fear about food, a certain texture, or concerns about consequences that may occur and also not consider as picky eating either. Adults and children with ARFID often feel hungry and want to eat. They sometimes report feelings such as their throat closing up or an involuntary gagging reflex. Some people may report fear of aversive consequences of eating, such as nausea.
Treatment can be, and is often, very successful in anxiety eating disorder.
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