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Emotional Eating: A Gateway to Eating Disorders

Emotional Eating

By Kaycee Packard

I’ve recently heard the news of my cousin. She’s fifteen years old and lives here in Naples. Community School of Naples (a private school) is the school she has attended these past two years. She’s made a few friends here and there, but the kids there all in the midst of finding out who they are, and they can at times clash and intimidate each other. This has put a good amount of pressure on her, and has caused her to feel uncomfortable with the person that she is.

Due to this uncomfortable stage in her life, she has come down with a sickness commonly known as anorexia. Since we live two different lives, I do not see her except on holidays and other special occasions. The weeks between the holidays have given time to her disorder, and it is more noticeable every time we meet that she has lost weight and is more skin and bones. Anorexia statistics show that it is most common in teenage girls, leaving only 10% of the disorder to males. Brought to my surprise as I was doing research, I was informed that one in every five adolescent girls are anorexic. I see it is becoming more common in our world today, and if the rise continues there will be a scare to our population.

Statistics on anorexia show that mortality rates from anorexia are the highest of any psychological disorder. When anorexia develops in females, very rarely is it just that they stop eating. They may also develop depression and anxiety, which I have noticed in my cousin. She’s not as happy as she used to be, and this comes from her doubt in herself. Her opinion of herself doesn’t matter as much as everyone else’s does, so she stops eating and isn’t happy because she lives under other people’s standards. If her anorexia does get worse, she is likely to experience heart disease, and potassium and magnesium imbalances, which may lead to heart failure. Throughout this process, her body is not as healthy as it could be and she can experience dizziness, fainting, headaches, nausea, etc.

Even after seeing a doctor and trying to find cures, she is not out of the woods. Statistics have also informed me that 60% make a full recovery even with treatment and 20% make half the recovery. This does not mean she shouldn’t attempt to make a recovery, and as family I will attempt to step in and allow her to feel good in her own skin and help her through this difficult process, because she deserves to feel as beautiful as she really is.

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