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EMOTIONAL DIFFICULTIES & EATING DISORDERS

EMOTIONAL DIFFICULTIES & EATING DISORDERS

“True emotional healing doesn’t happen without feeling. The only way out is through.” ― Jessica Moore

It is thought that around 150,000 children and young people in mainstream and special schools across England are living with emotional behavioral difficulties. One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide. Stigma, discrimination, and neglect prevent care and treatment from reaching people with mental disorders, says the World Health Organization (WHO).        

Emotional & Behavioural Difficulties (EBD)-

  • ‘EBD’ stands for Emotional Behavioural Disorder (often referred to as ‘Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties) and refers to a condition in which behaviour or emotional responses of an individual are so different from generally accepted norms, that they adversely affect that child’s performance. 
  • Children and young people with EBD may be withdrawn or isolated from their family or peers, become hyperactive and lack concentration, present disruptive and disturbing behaviour, might be socially immature, or display challenging behaviours arising from other complex special needs.
  • EBD is generally a specific diagnosis where the child displays persistent and severe behaviours. It can also be referred to as ‘Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties’ (SEBD).

Symptoms of ED-

  1. Appetite and weight changes
  2. Aggression, irritability or agitation
  3. Changes in mood, personality or behavior
  4. Confusion or forgetfulness
  5. Difficulty with memory, thinking, talking, comprehension, writing or reading
  6. Grandiosity
  7. Hallucinations or delusions
  8. Poor judgment
  9. Change in bowel movements
  10. Pain or discomfort
  11.   Shortness of breath
  12. Sleep disturbances

Causes of EBD-

  1. Psychiatric causes:
  • Antisocial personality disorder (disordered perceptions and interactions with others)
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder 
  • Major depression
  • Postpartum depression
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  1. Other causes:
  • Brain tumors
  • Chronic medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and HIV/AIDS
  • Chronic pain
  • Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease
  • Head injury
  • Side effects of medications, such as antihistamines, barbiturates

Eating Disorder (ED)

  • Eating Disorders describe illnesses that are characterized by irregular eating habits and severe distress or concern about body weight or shape.
  • Eating disturbances may include inadequate or excessive food intake which can ultimately damage an individual’s well-being. The most common forms of eating disorders include Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder and affect both females and males.
  • Disordered eating issues can develop during any stage in life but typically appear during the teen years or young adulthood. 
  • Although these conditions are treatable, the symptoms and consequences can be detrimental and deadly if not addressed. Eating disorders commonly coexist with other conditions, such as anxiety disorders, substance abuse, or depression.

Types of Disordered Eating-

  1. Anorexia Nervosa-The male or female suffering from anorexia nervosa will typically have an obsessive fear of gaining weight, refusal to maintain a healthy body weight and an unrealistic perception of body image.Anorexia can have damaging health effects, such as brain damage, multi-organ failure, bone loss, heart difficulties, and infertility.
  2. Bulimia Nervosa-This eating disorder is characterized by repeated binge eating followed by behaviors that compensate for the overeating, such as forced vomiting, excessive exercise, or extreme use of laxatives or diuretics. Men and women who suffer from Bulimia may fear weight gain and feel severely unhappy with their body size and shape. 
  3. Binge Eating Disorder- Individuals who suffer from Binge Eating Disorder will frequently lose control over his or her eating. Different from bulimia nervosa however, episodes of binge-eating are not followed by compensatory behaviors, such as purging, fasting, or excessive exercise. 

Signs & Symptoms of an ED-

  1. Chronic dieting despite being hazardously underweight
  2. Constant weight fluctuations
  3. Obsession with calories and fat contents of food
  4. Engaging in ritualistic eating patterns, such as cutting food into tiny pieces, eating alone, and/or hiding food
  5. Continued fixation with food, recipes, or cooking; the individual may cook intricate meals for others but refrain from partaking.

Treatment for Disordered Eating-

Treatment plans are utilized in addressing the many concerns a man or woman may be facing in the restoration of their health and well-being and are often tailored to meet individual needs.

  • Medical Care and Monitoring-The highest concern in the treatment of eating disorders is addressing any health issues that may have been a consequence of eating disordered behaviors.
  • Nutrition: This would involve weight restoration and stabilization, guidance for normal eating, and the integration of an individualized meal plan.
  • Therapy: Different forms of psychotherapy, such as individual, family, or group, can be helpful in addressing the underlying causes of eating disorders. 
  • Medications: Some medications may be effective in helping resolve mood or anxiety symptoms that can occur with an eating disorder or in reducing binge-eating and purging behaviors.

Conclusion-

To conclude, although eating disorders are often mentioned within the media, they are frequently unexplained and therefore misunderstood by many members of the public. Eating disorders come in a range of forms from Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, binge eating, unspecified eating disorders and exercise disorders.

References-  

World Health Organization 

 Written by – Avantika Pandey

She is a BBA Student from Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women.She is a young and  energetic girl who is always ready to learn new skills and enjoys writing a lot. Being a passionate writer, she not only writes but also encourages others to write.

Edited by- Shweta Mittal