Eating disorders are a common problem for women in every socioeconomic bracket and age demographic. From very young women to women who are middle-aged and beyond, thousands of women struggle with eating disorders. To understand why women have eating disorders, people need to understand the societal influences and internal struggles victims of eating disorders face.
Many women are victims of disordered eating because they are chasing the impossible goal of being as thin as fashion models and celebrities. Magazines, television shows, movies and music videos showcase women who have weights and body mass indexes impossible for most women to achieve. In order to emulate the images they see and become what society deems beautiful, many women turn to binge and purge eating, starvation or other disordered easting to drop pounds and achieve weight loss.
Another common reason why women have eating disorders is to gain control. Many women who suffer with eating disorders feel out of control in many areas of their life. Work, family pressures, financial problems and obligations and other factors they cannot control lead many women to disordered eating. By controlling what they do or do not eat, many women develop eating disorders as a way to gain control over their bodies and to feel empowered in at least on area of their lives.
Regardless of why women fall victim to eating disorders, uncovering the root of the issue will help them confront their problems and heal themselves. By digging into the underlying issues behind their eating disorder, women can gain insight they can use to restructure their eating patterns and develop healthy eating habits. If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, getting professional help and guidance is key to overcoming the immense struggle and burdens disordered eating brings. Talk to your health care or mental health care provider or go online to get information on resources in your area that can help women reclaim their health and free themselves from the shame, harm and secrecy of eating disorders. Eating disorders are hard to treat, but they can be overcome with professional help, support from friends and family and by understanding the issues that led to the disorder.