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Eating disorders are complex psychological conditions that are characterized by abnormal, irregular eating habits, and an extreme concern with one’s body weight or shape. There are several different manifestations of eating disorders. The various types are listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) under the Disorder Class: Feeding and Eating Disorders. The pervasive symptoms associated with any type of eating disorder can cause adverse physiological consequences and interfere with one’s ability to adequately function in daily life.

Causes and Risk Factors

There is no single, identifiable cause as to why someone develops an eating disorder. Research has, however, indicated certain biological, psychological, interpersonal and social risk factors that have been noted to increase one’s susceptibility for developing an eating disorder, which can include the following, provided by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA):

  • Biological risk factors: 
    • Scientists continue to research the biochemical and biological causes of eating disorders
    • In some individuals with eating disorders “certain chemicals in the brain that control hunger, appetite and digestion have been found to be unbalanced” 
    • Eating disorders tend to run in families indicating a significant genetic contribution to eating disorders
    • Research indicates that “there is a significant co-occurrence of eating disorders, particularly binge eating disorder, in individuals with higher BMI”
  • Psychological risk factors:
    • Feelings of inadequacy
    • Low self-esteem
    • Ineffective coping strategies
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Impulsive behaviors
    • Anger 
  • Interpersonal risk factors:
    • Overly concerned with the opinions of others
    • Excessively competitive
    • Troubled personal relationships
    • Difficulty expressing emotions
    • History of sexual and/ or physical abuse
    • History of being ridiculed and/ or teased based on size and/ or weight
  • Social risk factors:
    • Pressure to achieve and succeed 
    • Valuing individuals based solely on their physical appearance
    • Stress related to ethnic, racial, size/ weight-related, or other forms of discrimination or prejudice
    • Cultural emphasis placed on thinness as an inextricable part of beauty
    • Media and pop culture’s unrealistic portrayal of people’s bodies and shapes

Certain behaviors, such as constantly engaging in weight loss and diets that involve severely restricting food intake to the point of continued hunger can contribute to the development of an eating disorder. This way of eating can interfere with one’s ability to extract and absorb the needed vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are innately sourced from consuming food, which can increase one’s risk of other physical and mental health consequences.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options. 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.