Eating Disorders: Just A Teenager Problem?

Hello dolls!
Here's an article I wrote for ANEB http://www.anebquebec.com/blogue/2013/12/05/les-ta-juste-un-caprice-dados/ and translated. 

I already debunked the myth regarding men and eating disorders. Today, older populations! 

Oh yes, indeed, young adults aren't the only people in distress.
According to NEDA statistics, In 2003, 1/3 of inpatient admissions to a specialized treatment center for eating disorders were over 30 years old. 
So why do so many people consider eating disorders to be a "teenage problem", and why is this reasoning so faulty? 

Let's rewind a little bit. What causes an ED? Obviously, the answer varies from person to person, but there are triggers common to the majority of cases. 
First of all, a very prominent theory is the one involving the media and its indirect imposition of impossible physical expectations. 

Yes, it is true that young boys and girls in development are very vulnerable to those societal messages because they often lack self-esteem and a definite sense of identity. How-EVER, we cannot underestimate the amount of those messages directed towards a more mature audience. Beauty and skincare ads, like the one featured on the right, can easily make women over 30 feel as though their beauty vanishes at the appearance of a single wrinkle. Let's not forget the boom of the plastic surgery industry, making accessible a wide array of  rejuvenating procedures to anybody with access to a credit card and a needle now more than ever. 

So how can we possibly imagine that teenagers are the only ones to suffer the difficult consequences of these destructive images and practices? 

Moreover, a very common trigger among people suffering from an ED is stress. Young adults worry about   their grades, friendships, romantic relationships, future; all of these are strong catalysts of psychological distress that can lead to poor body image. 
But does anxiety disappear after adolescence? Of course it doesn't! 

Adults work, maintain their friendships and/or romantic relationships, pay their bills, raise kids, all of the stressors! On top of all of that, since adults generally have more responsibilities, they are less likely to get help and take time to recover, which can add to their already-high anxiety, and the vicious cycle goes round and round.

To top it all off, the hormone changes present in woman experiencing pregnancy or menopause are just as disorienting as puberty's biological mess. 

Here's the deal: "Body image dissatisfaction in midlife has increased dramatically, more than doubling from 25% in 1972 to 56% in 1997." But if no one dares speak of this demographic's unfortunate reality, those number won't stop climbing. 

So talk to you mom, grand-mother, uncle, friend, teacher, whoever! Breaking the silence  helps build a better world. 




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