Eating disorders are often associated with young women who have self-esteem issues and body acceptance issues. But it wasn’t until Princess Diana revealed her battles with the eating disorder bulimia nervosa that many adult women recognized that they are still susceptible to an eating disorder. The demands of a career and domestic life might become too much for some women, and they could develop an eating disorder when things become too much for them.
A Rising Concern
Eating disorder treatment centers have seen a rise in recent years of women from 30 to 60 years old seeking treatment options for bulimia nervosa, anorexia and orthorexia (when a patient refuses to eat certain foods believing they are unhealthy or harmful). Often these middle-aged women are professionals with growing careers but struggle with a condition that could threaten their health and their lives in the long run. Psychiatrists and experts cite that stress triggers include domestic concerns, social expectations, and their careers.
Anxiety and Career Goals
Many women pursue demanding careers and businesses amidst being married, having children, and being active in their communities. But they could also experience anxiety, pressure and stress to do well in all of these areas. Many women could also experience stress when one or several of their interests do not succeed. A divorce, or a child’s illness, and a floundering business could trigger an eating disorder.
It happens because most women who driven to succeed need to feel in control. When one or several things do not meet their expectations or standards, they go back to something they can control: their bodies, their weight, and their diet. Their bodies bear the brunt of their need for control, and sometimes it can lead to unhealthy habits and unrealistic expectations about their weight.
Look for the Signs
Different eating disorders have different symptoms, but the most common thing is how these women view food and their bodies. They might call themselves “fat” and undergo extreme diets and exercises. They might also avoid certain foods to prevent weight gain. In the case of bulimia, a person might go on a food binge and have no control over what they eat, only to vomit it out later.
If you or someone you know has been losing weight and displaying behavior similar to these, it’s best to talk to them and take them to a physician (with their consent). They may not admit it at first, but it is best to go to the underlying reason for their eating disorder: career, family or even their relationships. The discussion might be a difficult one, but it needs to be done to start the healing.
An eating disorder is a serious mental health disease that can affect them for life. They could become weaker and unable to think clearly, and eventually, they might lose their lives due to the weakened state of their organs and body. Sometimes, being career-driven can be a blessing, but it can also be a stress trigger that can affect your mental health. Know better and talk to a therapist when you feel these symptoms.