Anorexia and bulimia are psychological illnesses in which individuals become obsessed with food and its affects on body image. These eating disorders affect millions of people and can be fatal if untreated. Anorexia (self starvation)and bulimia (binge eating and/or purging) are closely linked.
In fact, approximately 25 percent of the people who have bulimia have also had anorexia.
The cause of these disorders appears to stem from feelings of low self-esteem, troubled family relationships, worries about physical changes during adolescence, and society’s glorification of thinness and its strong prejudice against those who are overweight.
There may be a history of these eating disorders in your family. So if you find yourself or a family member worrying obsessively about weight and appearance, see an eating disorder specialist for advice.
Sooner is better, because the longer they go untreated the more difficult they are to reverse.