Eating disorders impact a huge amount of peoples lives, though it if difficult to know exact figures as only NHS treated illnesses are recorded, however there are many more individuals who suffer from the illnesses which fall under this category such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and binge eating.
Anorexia has the highest mortality rate for any mental illness, said to be approximately 12% higher than any other disorder. Additionally about 1/5 of all anorexia sufferers die as a result. This could be due to the illness not just impacting the mental state of the patient but also the physical state to an extent which there is often irreparable damage and it can result in organ failure.
It is an abnormal attitude towards food and the sense of self, resulting in issues like body dysmorphia, skipping meals, fear of food, excessive exercising. Anorexia is typically associated with females, however there are a high numbers of males who also suffer from the disorder, one of the most famous of whom being Gok Wan who took to serious laxative abuse causing him to lose 10st in just a few months.
The online world can be dangerous to individuals with eating disorders, there is far too easy access to ‘thinspo’ blogs which set unrealistic targets of weight loss, promoting the idea of only been good enough at certain weights, showing pictures of visible bones, only posting images of individuals with these kinds of illnesses, writing stories, doing vlogs about it all, which is all being viewed by highly vulnerable individuals.
The illnesses can be stress induced, stem from pressure from society and even jobs, a lack of control in their lives, issues with family and obsessive personalities.