The Rising Problem of Eating Disorders
Only in Spain, between 4.1% and 6.4% of young people aged 12 to 21 years are affected by Eating Disorders (TCA). According to data from the Spanish Society of General and Family Physicians (SEMG), this indicates a serious mental health problem. The experts from the ED unit of the López Ibor Clinic quoted current beauty ideals, social pressure, emotional regulation challenges, and a possible link to an addictive model among the factors responsible for this boom in young patients.
Today, on June 2, we celebrate the World Day of Action against Eating Disorders. The pandemic-induced confinement has contributed to an increase in ED cases, making it crucial to seek out the causes and symptoms of these disorders.
Anorexia and Bulimia
The most visible eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Anorexia arises from extreme perfectionism and challenges in emotional regulation that lead to the restriction of food consumption. In contrast, bulimia occurs when people try to eliminate what they have ingested after a binge through purging behaviors.
Causes of TCATs
TCA does not appear for a single specific cause, but multiple factors and variables, including environmental factors, family environments, genetic predisposition, learning throughout life, personality traits, low self-esteem, and hyper-demanding contexts. It is essential to address the multicausal etiology of this disorder to help patients manage their symptoms efficiently.
Detecting ED Symptoms
Specialists from the ED unit of the Clinic suggest looking for signs such as excessive concern over food, dietary restrictions, and different ways of eating food. Avoiding family meals, hiding food in unusual places, rapid weight fluctuations, using laxatives or diuretics, changes in behavior or mood, lying, manipulative behavior, and social isolation can signify a severe problem.
Solving the Problem
The specialists from the Lopez Ibor Clinic recommend prevention campaigns, education in emotional regulation, promotion of a realistic body image, emotional support, and access to professional resources to avoid eating disorders. To manage TCA, it is crucial to integrate behavior changes in real-life contexts. Intensive and specialized therapeutic environments and emotional regulation programs that offer efficient tools and strategies are key.