The social and media demands we have about how our bodies should look to be “perfect,” that is, to meet the standard of beauty that advertising and consumerism have invented and imposed on us, has resulted in serious problems with our self-esteem and self-acceptance..
These problems turn into frustrations and insecurities because of the way we perceive our body, but on other occasions they end up in serious eating disorders. The best known are anorexia and bulimia and they are quite different. Learn about the difference between anorexia and bulimia and detect their symptoms..
What are eating disorders?
Eating disorders or eating behavior disorders are extreme manifestations of emotional disorders that have their origin in our social, psychological and biological environment, since it is a distorted body self-image, excessive fear of weight gain and volume change in the body due to an established image or standard of beauty to which we have given more values. The most famous of these diseases are anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN).
There is a difference between anorexia and bulimia, but both share psychological factors factors of an eating disorder: low self-esteem, difficulty in self-perception and self-acceptance, low coping skills and frustration. People with this problem are overly critical of their body and feel a high desire for perfectionism that is never attainable.
If we add to all of this the demands of society and advertising for the the cult of a totally slim body and the values of beauty, superiority, happiness and success that are associated with it, you have the inevitable mix for an eating disorder.
Most worryingly, the numbers of people suffering from anorexia and bulimia continue to rise, especially in adolescents. This is the age at which we build our identity, with females especially being the most affected at a ratio of 10 to 1 versus males.
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Difference between anorexia and bulimia.
While these two eating disorders are characterized by a rejection or fear of body weight. rejection or fear of body weightmanifest themselves in two completely different ways. Below we explain the difference between anorexia and bulimia.
When we talk about anorexia nervosa we refer to those people who have a total fear and rejection of weight gain, so they practice self-starvation (self-denial of meals) as a mechanism for weight loss, affecting their health terribly; weight loss becomes an obsession and leads to metabolic complications and brings metabolic, renal, cardiovascular and dermatological complications.
This weight loss occurs abruptly, leaving the person below healthy minimums in a short time. There are those who stop eating completely, but it can also be that they eat very little, consuming only a few foods and water, for which the body does not receive any nutrients. In the most extreme cases, sufferers may use laxatives to lose weight even faster.
The most worrying thing about this condition is that despite having reached the lower limits of weight, these people fail to see their thinness. On the contrary, when they are in front of the mirror they still think they need to lose more weight, due to the distorted self-image that they have and that makes them suffer emotionally as well. We see this eating disorder especially in adolescent women, but more and more adult women are beginning to suffer from it.
The main difference between anorexia and bulimia is that although in both we find an obsession to keep the weight down. obsession with keeping weight downbulimia people eat, unlike people with anorexia who suffer from self-starvation or eat very little.
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder in which people have cyclical moments of binge eating in which they eat uncontrollably. They then compensate for these excesses with purges to keep from gaining weight, such as vomiting, excessive hours of exercise, laxative abuse, and may even restrict themselves from eating for many hours at a time.
People suffering from bulimia also have an extreme fixation on their body image. extreme fixation on their body imageIn this case, however, weight loss is slower and does not become noticeable abruptly, due to the binge eating they do.
A major difference between anorexia and bulimia is that, in general, people with anorexia nervosa have a history of eating disorders such as obesity in their family. In the case of people with bulimia, these are unsatisfied emotional needs that they try to satisfy with uncontrolled food intake. uncontrolled food intakewhich they must then eliminate in order to maintain their weight.
Anxiety, sadness and depression are common factors in people suffering from anorexia and bulimia.
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Symptoms and consequences of eating disorders.
As we discussed at the beginning of this article, eating disorders are the result of a long list of symptoms of different types. These symptoms, rather than being different between anorexia and bulimia, are rather shared by the two diseases to a greater or lesser extent and can be divided into three groups: psychological, behavioral and emotional.
Psychological symptoms include weight obsession obsession with weight and excessive fear of gaining weightnegative thoughts about food, body image and weight; distortion of one’s own body image; impaired creative and concentration abilities; and abstraction of thoughts.
Behaviorally, symptoms include restrictive dieting or binge eating, refusal of certain foods, use of extreme methods to eliminate the food consumed such as ingestion of laxatives or vomiting, obsessive-compulsive behaviorsobsessive-compulsive behaviors and social isolation.
At the emotional level the symptoms are depression, anxiety, deep sadness, phobias and in some cases suicidal ideas.
Now that you know the difference between anorexia and bulimia, their causes and devastating consequences, ask for help if you, a family member or your friends may be suffering from any of these diseases. There are many centers of assistance to which you can go in your city.
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