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Eating Disorders Have High Mortality Rate Among Those with Mental Illness

mental health disordersWhen you hear the terms “mental illness,” disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism are the ones that usually come to mind, but it’s important to note that eating disorders are mental illnesses, too, and even when you lump them together with the others, the facts state that eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia and binge eating have the highest mortality rates of any mental illness.

Eating disorders commonly develop when patients are young, and it’s crucial to address them early, as it is extremely common for the disorders to become more serious as the patients age and become more set in their behaviors. Anorexia is marked by the avoidance of food because of issues including discomfort with one’s body, anxiety or low self-esteem. Bulimia, another common eating disorder involves almost uncontrollable episodes of eating followed by the uncontrollable urge to expel the food from their bodies after through vomiting. Binge eating, which is another eating disorder seen commonly in patients, is a cycle of excessive eating, often done in secret and paired with deep feelings of shame and regret.

Many people are in denial of their eating disorders, so it’s imperative that they have the support of their friends and family and that their treatment programs address the eating disorder itself and also integrate nutrition education, psychotherapy and more to assure that they do not relapse. While these eating disorders have the highest mortality rates of any mental illness, it’s also worth mentioning that eating disorders are also quite treatable. Through early detection, thorough treatment and intensive aftercare, individuals with eating disorders regularly move on to lead healthy lives.

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