For modern people, diet can be said to be a necessity, not an option. There are a lot of broadcasting shows that talk about how obesity has a bad effect on health, it is because modern society has begun to recognize obesity as a disease. As a result, more people are trying to lose their weight in a healthy way, but there are also people who want to lose their weight through excessive diet in a short period of time and some of them eventually suffered from eating disorders such as ‘bulimia’ or ‘anorexia’. It is because their physical and mental health was getting poor by excessive diet method.
It can be said that ‘the pursuit of slimness’ had a great influence on the establishment of eating disorders as a mental disease. Like the chubby models in western portraits, there was a time when a fat person was the standard of beauty, but as the quality of life improved over the years, slimness is recognized as a value to pursue and a symbol of self-control. Celebrities in the media go beyond being slim and maintain a lean level, and this is because they have made teenagers and young people have the desire to imitate them. Due to the social and psychological pressure of being so slim, the fear and inhibition of eating could not be endured, the ‘bulimia’ occurred, which repeated binge eating and vomiting. ‘Anorexia’ occurred for some people who refused to eat and gain weight.
According to the statistical data of the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, from 2015 to 2017, there were 10,363 and 8,172 patients with bulimia and anorexia, respectively, of which 9,133(88.1%) and 6,128(75%) were female. It was about 7 times and 3 times higher than males. Women have relatively high ideals of beauty. Women have relatively high ideals of beauty, and that diet compulsiveness occurs much more often in women.
Bulimia and anorexia are diagnosed according to the established criteria of ‘DSM-5(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder)’ published by the American Psychiatric Association. Bulimia is diagnosed by rapid eating of more than 2 servings for a certain period of time (within about 2 hours) at least twice a week for 3 months, and compensatory behaviors such as vomiting for fear of weight gain and accompanied compulsive and anxiety. Anorexia is diagnosed by refusal to maintain a normal weight or higher weight in consideration of age and height, extreme fear of weight gain and obesity despite low weight, when weight and body shape have an excessive influence on self-evaluation, and weight and when you have a distorted perception of your body type and do not acknowledge the seriousness of your current underweight condition.
Before seeking help from an expert, self-diagnosis can be suspected even when 4 or 5 or more each applies.
<Self-diagnosis of bulimia>
- I always have stress about my weight.
- I look for food when I am stressed or not feeling well.
- I think about eating other foods even after I’ve eaten, and I am full.
- I have a habit of repeating binge eating and dieting.
- I have had feelings of displeasure, disgust, or self-destruction after eating.
- I prefer eating alone rather than eating with others.
- When I eat, I eat until I feel full and uncomfortable.
<Self-diagnosis of anorexia>
- I don’t think I’m slim even though others say it.
- I worry too much about gaining weight despite being underweight.
- I exercise excessively, vomit, and use diuretics or laxatives to lose weight.
- I stopped menstruating for no apparent reason.
- I do unusual things, such as hiding food in the house.
- I weight several times a day.
- I am overly obsessed with food ingredients and calories.
- I lose a lot of hair.
- I have fluctuating mood and have feelings of inferiority and anxiety about myself.
Bulimia and anorexia treatment starts with the will to overcome and self-esteem improvement. The first step to overcoming an eating disorder is to have the courage to accept and acknowledge one's own weight and body shape as it is, to love oneself and to send a warm gaze. It is also good to reduce stress and take time to rest. Addressing the underlying stress that causes bulimia and anorexia is important, but if you don’t, you need to take some time to rest, reduce stress and manage your emotions. Above all, if you think you need help, it is important to get appropriate counselling and treatment from an expert at an early stage.