Student life is a great and enjoyable experience. You are on the way to becoming an adult, you get to socialize and meet new friends; you are doing things which will promote your future and career. It is certainly an exciting phase of life.
One thing you would certainly be doing is eating. But there is an issue here; owing to their rapid pace of life and rush of activities, as well as other factors, many students end up not bothering about healthy eating habits. As a result, eating disorders can be commonly observed.
One such is related to overeating and under-eating. These disorders are called Bulimia and Anorexia nervosa. 30% of college students are believed to experience these disorders. Often these are triggered by psychological factors such as perfectionism and self discipline. These are seen in people suffering from low-esteem and poor image issues. Such people get into this habit of trying to get back a positive image by eating too much or eating as less as possible. It serves as an escape mechanism to avoid the pain of stress, depression, loneliness, anxiety and the negative self- image they have developed of themselves. These disorders are very often found in those who are exceptionally successful in life. 80% of eating disorders are experienced by women.
Anorexia nervosa is what happens when the person is so obsessed with weight loss that it results in severe effects on his or her body image. The people who display these traits tend to be high achievers, people pleasers, hard workers, and very self conscious. They work so hard to lose their weight, that even when they have become very thin, they cannot stop dieting. They may resort to extreme measures such as extreme dieting and purging themselves of what they have eaten in order to do this. The disorder provides them with a sense of power and control especially when they are passing through critical life changes. The symptoms are obsession with food and diet, obsession with body shape, size and structure, using methods to get rid of food in the body, controlling the diet and eating food at very minimal levels, hiding the fact they are not eating food. It is also accompanied by social withdrawal symptoms. Physically, th e person suffers from weight loss, fatigue, muscle weakness etc.
This is another kind of eating disorder, where the person initially takes in a lot of food and then throws them all out through purging by using various laxatives or dieting or excessive exercise. After purging, they will experience cravings which will make them over eat and then the process gets repeated. Bulimic patients also suffer from stress, anxiety and depression as well as risky behaviours.
Whether it is anorexia or bulimia, both are severe health hazards and students should take early help when they detect these signs happening within them.