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Eating disorder & body Image, Signs to watch out for. How Relationship to food controls the mind

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[Music] thank you hi Dr Seema Segal how are you today I'm very well rupali thank you for having me so we were just talking before this call about a very important topic and it's been going on in the news a lot about body image of a young person and even like an older person so let's talk a little bit about anorexia and the some of the cultural implications and how social media is aiding to it so tell me all the secrecy that's being you know people don't talk about it right being thin is is a cool way to look right now so tell me some of the signs and what are the things to watch out for sure um you know you're absolutely right rupali um it is you know anorexia has been around for a long time and you know if you look at it historically right I think there are early cases all the way back to the Hellenistic era and then the Victorian sort of image of you know being very thin and that being looked on uh positively by you know your family and Society where you know you lived and did business and unfortunately because it is shrouded in so much uh secrecy because unlike other mental health issues anorexia has not just the stigma from society as such but there is a lot of self-stigmatization the patients you know themselves feels really terrible about themselves their self-image their sense of worthlessness and guilt and they speak even less about it and so it gets you know very little visibility there is very little awareness um you know about this disorder and if you look at the definition it basically encompasses three big aspects one is you know restriction what we call restriction of energy not necessarily restriction of food because food is just fuel for the body and so there is when there is restriction of energy for the body that is what you know causes the downstream effects on the body itself this is coupled with an intense fear of gaining weight and along with that can be associated with a disturbance in how your body and shape is perceived and you know there are um many factors that come together you know there are there's a lot of thought in the field that it is actually a developmental disorder which which presents in a biological psychological and social landscape so if you think about it the highest incidence of where it appears the most is between ages of about 10 and 20. now you know developmentally all of us have what we call developmental tasks every child has to navigate certain milestones in their development in order to um you know be sort of confident and have a good sense of themselves so during this period you know the major developmental tasks if you think about it are puberty autonomy they're trying to become autonomous and have a say in you know what's happening to them and their body and the choices they make and their sense of identity so you know with these three things being sort of the primary goals there's a lot of things that can come along and disrupt this now the disruption can be you know some traumatic event in fact they say about 75 percent of people have experienced some trauma at the onset of you know the eating disorder taking off and the trauma could be you know it doesn't have to be something really big it could be um just you know a different parenting style than what the child needs it could be some dysfunction in the family for an athlete it could be you know suddenly not being able to participate in their you know favored athletic activity or a gymnast hurting themselves and that being taken away from them you know something that disrupts their sense of self or you have you know parenting where it's an over controlling parenting style where again the child is not able to express uh their own sense of what they want and need and then you know we can't forget the cultural component of what food means in different cultures yeah now where for a lot of parents food is how they show love and parenting to the child and when the child is not allowed to have a say or decide or create for themselves their own relationship with food it starts to sort of you know go a different way another thing that you know is important to watch for is the type of characteristics of the child themselves you know the personality style so we often see the children who are affected by this tend to be more perfectionistic they tend to be more anxious they tend to be they tend to have OCD traits not the full disorder but just traits obsessive traits um they tend to be what we call harm aversive they like they don't like taking risks so when you have a child that is like this and then there is superimposition of other factors in the family you know the society and social media also saying okay you know the child feels for whatever reason the trauma that has you know the child has seen could be the death of a loved one sometimes you know a death of a parent precipitates it or from something in the school of friendships right absolutely you know where you're bullied where you are not uh you're not seen for who you are but just the body in which you live and in which you do business yeah so you know for different reasons the child begins to feel unsafe in their own body yeah to try to distance themselves from their body they find a way to express very difficult complex emotions and food becomes the easiest handiest most available tool that gets weaponized yeah and you know so they start to use the food as a way of control as a way of actually to their mind it makes total logical sense that they withhold and they you know use it as a way to express these emotions and before you know it uh it's getting it's getting to a point where it starts to get dangerous and so the important thing to remember is it is a deadly disease with a very high mortality and the patient is not your enemy so the family and the patient have to work together against the eating disorder which is the enemy and it takes a while to make that leap yeah so I think that's a really good point that you made right it's the family and the loved one and the the support that you have around what are the signs uh like you know these kind of things happen in a lot of isolation too right people do it when they're living alone or so what are the things that people can watch out to help their loved one right and you know that is really important because awareness is everything so you know your child right you know your child you know their behavior you know what how they normally eat what they normally do so if you notice a sudden change in their behavior in terms of their eating less they're becoming more picky about what they eat they don't want to eat in public they want to eat in the secrecy in isolation of their room they refuse to go out for dinner um you know in gatherings in restaurants they are beginning to have these patterns of eating where they must eat this first or that verse you know that rigidity is coming in they start to wear loose clothes they start to have an as the you know the weight loss and ask the energy depletes from the body different organ systems will begin to manifest signs of that depletion so there can be medical issues you know the heart rate goes down they start to get dizzy their you know brain isn't getting enough uh fuel so you're starting you know your concentration Focus your moods are more irritable you're angry there is a level of almost delusional idea of your own starvation and that's what makes it scary because they are not able to there is such a disconnection between who they feel they are as their self and the body in which that self is living so a lot of people say that you know some describe the recovery from anorexia as really connecting with this lost identity and so the signs you look for you know other physical signs you have sort of the you know other um medical signs could be hair falling out men situation that stops because you know as different systems are shutting down you start to see the manifestations wow and it's also like tied like you said a lot to self-esteem Etc right and so what are some of the resources um you know I think it's mostly for the caregiver or a loved one to seek out to so would you share some of that at the end of the video definitely so we'll put resources there are lots of you know National agencies that uh have wonderful resource pages and you know kovid has been talk about trauma talk about that perfect storm where um you know for the anxious uh person who loves the routine who loves predictability came covered where uh everything went out the window you know there was no Surety about anything you were anyway isolating you weren't going out to get food you were trying to sort of you know stick with what was at home so the incidence of uh you know Eating Disorders went up tremendously during coven because of its uncertainty the isolation unpredictability and ambiguity that it brought and the other important thing to remember that is not spoken about is anorexia in men you know we talk about it as just anorexia in women and if you look at you know Fitness magazines if you look at Fitness magazines that are directed towards young men or boys they talk about you know having a muscular body in the body shape whereas if you look at the women it's all about diet and fungus and then you know there are social constructs like inspiration and you know words like that that are sort of bandied about and you know the the sort of um you know social media and the modeling of all these really really wrong constructs that you are how you look you are not what's inside you are just how you look and the more thin you can be the better it speaks for your sense of discipline and control over you know all aspects of your life so to just you know word of caution that if you're feeling that disconnected with aspects of yourself sometimes we say you know cultivate a good hobby put yourself out there in a uh in a situation that you're giving back to somebody to feel good about yourself and really talking about it I think the more we talk the easier it gets to talk yeah wow that is really educational thank you so much Dr SEMA we will put the resources and I think I love the thing get a hobby right like where does it get a life or mostly it is absolutely find something that you love that you know uh that talks to you that sings to you and uh and treating yourself with kindness and compassion that it's a very very hard you know uh illness to go through and nobody should go through this alone that there are resources there are people you can talk to there is help that can be had and to reach out for those before we end this let me ask you if a person realizes that they are in this you know this trend what is like should they be talking to their psychiatrists the doctors like what is the first line that they should reach out to the first line I always say is if you have a primary care doctor talk to them if you have a parent that you trust uh you know just like the uh two stories that you had uploaded one of them mentioned that her parents really were the resource that sent her to treatment that you know had her reclaim her life so if you have a uh caregiver that you trust that's often the first you know place to go or your primary care physician is a good starting point because it is it does involve the entire you know the whole family this is not a journey that can be undertaken alone and there is education to be done for the family as well not just the patient but the whole system in which the patient lives has to sort of mold and grow and learn together so the family has to have buy-in great thank you so much Dr SEMA Segel appreciate your time today you're welcome thanks foreign

More Information

In this insightful and thought-provoking YouTube video, Dr. Seema Sehgal shares about a pressing issue prevalent in today's society: anorexia and its cultural implications. They delve into the secrecy surrounding this mental health disorder, its historical context, and the ways in which social media exacerbates the problem. The expert provides valuable information on the signs to watch out for, the underlying causes, and the importance of a supportive environment for recovery. This video sheds light on the seriousness of anorexia and emphasizes the need for awareness and understanding. #AnorexiaAwareness #MentalHealthMatters #BodyImageIssues #EatingDisorders #SocialMediaImpact #CulturalImplications #RecoveryJourney #SupportAndUnderstanding #BreakingStigma #mentalhealthawareness #empoweringconversations

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