Have you felt guilty after eating a lot and binge-eating after a bad day? We sometimes have that urge; we fill our tummies with food when we feel down and disappointed. When it’s an occasional scenario, it can pass as a normal coping mechanism. However, if the binge-eating becomes a habit and it affects your overall health, relationships, and outlook in life, maybe you would want to consider counseling or professional help. There are also those who, instead of eating a lot, would not eat anything because of their fear of gaining weight. What’s worse is that they would stop eating because they want to punish themselves for something that they have done in the past, making this eating disorder a form of repentance or penance for them. And believe me when I say that the number of people who feel this way is continuously increasing.
In fact, the eating disorders statistics show that at least 9% of the world’s population is suffering from a kind of eating disorder. If anything, mental health problems cannot be resolved alone. Having someone to talk to can ease your mind and help you widen your perspective, so knowing if there is an eating disorder hotline available to assist you anytime you need help surely makes a difference.
Eating Disorders: A Brief Background
A person’s weight and physical appearance have been considered factors when establishing one’s mental health, self-esteem, and confidence. If you are on the heavier side, and you notice several flaws in your shape and curves, this may affect how you eat. Some would stay on the constructive side and change their diets to healthy ones, following exercise routines that help shape and strengthen their bodies. Meanwhile, those who succumb to the disappointment that they feel about their bodies would resort to habits that further damage their health, and one of them is eating disorders. Eating disorders can be on either poles or extremes – eating too much or not eating at all.
Bulimia nervosa. This is characterized by eating more than your average amount, then forcing yourself to vomit, take laxatives, or work out excessively to burn the excess calories you got from binge-eating.
Anorexia nervosa. This is the other extreme where you are almost afraid to eat because you feel that even a small amount of food would lead you to gain weight.
Another form of the eating disorder is brought about by the fear of being allergic to particular types of food. This is called the Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID).
If you feel that you have certain inclinations as to feeling these symptoms or urges, finding someone to talk to who wouldn’t judge you and would only listen somehow helps you have realizations and clarity.
Eating Disorder Hotline: Can It Really Help?
There are so many non-profit organizations that sincerely want to help people with their mental health, including their eating disorders. One of them is the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), an American pioneered group that helps prevent, provide treatment, educate, and advocate against eating disorders. They sponsor National Eating Disorders Week every year, and many who participate in this cause aim to raise social awareness of a health problem that can eventually affect one’s mental health. NEDAwareness Week, as it is internationally called, has an open invitation to volunteer professionals, medical practitioners, advisors, and counselors who would want to extend their helping hand in educating and treating patients who are suffering from this disorder. This occasion is not limited to diagnosed patients; even those who feel that they are on the brink of having eating or mental health problems are welcome to join.
Having a social support system that you can trust and rely on during a dark stage in your life is a huge help and a great stepping stone towards your healing and self-actualization. Knowing an eating disorder hotline that is available to you anytime and anywhere you are is a relief for a person who is always in a constant battle with his demons.
Not many people will regard eating disorders as a life-threatening condition. But if you think deeply about it, anything that negatively affects your mental health can inadvertently affect how you look at life. Your will to live and your perspective about the beauty of life becomes tainted with sadness, disappointments, and regrets. Not having someone to talk to makes you feel isolated and unwanted. With all these ‘demons’ wrapping your mind, depression develops.
Unfortunately, those who succumb to the grave symptoms of depression take their own lives with the feeling that there is nothing left to live for. And this is where support groups, help hotlines, and counselors enter the picture. If you, a family member, or someone you know is suffering from any form of eating disorder, allow them and yourself to know that there are so many eating disorder hotlines available for them and that they are not alone in this battle.
Eating disorders are not unsolvable problems. All you need is dedication, the will to correct your mindset, and the ability to push towards your goal into having worthwhile and clear mental health.