Just like other problems exacerbated by COVID-19, eating disorders are thriving. More and more people are turning to drugs and alcohol to help them get through their day, while others are focusing on their body.
Here Are Some Reasons Why Eating Disorders Are So Strong During This Time
- Many feel out of control during this time. Eating disorders aren’t just about the way that you look. They are all about control. You can control when you eat and what you put in your mouth. You can control when you exercise and how hard you push yourself. Unfortunately, during this time of uncertainty, there isn’t much else that we can control. Many worry about finances due to job loss. They may be struggling to get through their days, and they need to find something that they can control.
- While everyone was joking about people gaining weight during this pandemic, those with eating disorders worked even harder to avoid it. There were so many jokes and memes on social media about gaining weight, which only made it easier for those with a disorder to realize that they would do whatever it took to stay skinny (or lose more weight).
- They have lost their social support. Many people are very lonely during this time. They can’t get together with friends when they need a pick me up. Oftentimes, loneliness can become too much to bear.
- People are struggling to get the help that they need. Whether they have been in treatment for their eating disorder for a while, or they have realized just how much they need help, it is hard to find help during this pandemic. Support group meetings are canceled for social distancing compliance. Many people are relapsing because of this. Others aren’t getting the help that they need until it is almost too late.
Here Are Some Symptoms That You Need to Look for With Eating Disorders
- Weight loss (or gain). Many people lose a lot of weight quickly when they have an eating disorder.
- Always dieting. It may seem like they are always on a diet. They may try every new fad that comes out, looking for a way to lose even more weight.
- Control over food. They become preoccupied with their food and calories. They may refuse to eat certain foods (or whole categories of food such as carbohydrates). Lastly, they may skip meals or only eat a small amount at each meal.
- Don’t want to eat with others. They prefer to eat alone so that they can watch exactly what they put into their mouth. They may be uncomfortable going out to eat with others or even just sitting by someone else during a meal.
- Food rituals. Many people with eating disorders have certain rituals that they follow when they are eating. They may focus on chewing a certain amount of times, or they might not want their food to touch another type of food.
- Mood swings. Many people who struggle with food disorders have mood swings. They could be smiling and laughing, but that quickly turns into anger over something that shouldn’t even bother them.
- Body-conscious. They may look at themselves in the mirror every time that they go by, just to point out everything wrong with their body. Further, they may still see fat when everyone else sees bones. They may pick apart their skin or anything else that they feel like they need to fix.
Are You Experiencing Increased Eating Disorder Symptoms During This Pandemic?
If you (or someone that you love) is struggling with an eating disorder, the time to get help is now. Contact us today at the Fairwinds Treatment Center. We would be glad to help you start on your journey to a new and better life.