A report has revealed that the frequency of distress calls to the National Eating Disorder Association has shot up by 70 to 80 percent during the COVID19 pandemic. Pine Lake Behavioral Health in Lincoln as well has reported an increase in people who have been suffering from eating disorders during the pandemic. Health experts have said that young people in the age range of 12 to 17 years, who are dealing with anorexia and bulimia, are the most affected people. In some cases, people are involved in binge eating as well, said the experts. During the National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, diet experts have said that there are some signs of eating disorders that need to be closely watched such as drastic weight loss, dental issues, hair loss, and change in skin color. They have said that if somebody starts making excuses to not eat food or starts eating too much at one time, it can be a sign of eating disorders. Professionals have said that some people who are dealing with eating issues might be using it as a coping mechanism to deal with stress during the pandemic. Stephanie Delgado, a mental health counselor has said that if people with eating disorders like to eat peppers and salads, then their loved ones should load their house with such food items. She has said that mental health professionals need to find out the root cause of such eating disorders as it involves more of a mental health background when it comes to eating disorders.
Stephanie Delgado has said that sometimes it is necessary to ask people who are dealing with eating disorders how they would want to be assisted and supported through their issues. She has said that institutions, which provide help and treatment to those who are dealing with eating disorders, have been having waiting lists of up to six months. Therefore, identifying ways to assist these patients at home might be beneficial in long run. As per the experts, family members of such patients should avoid blaming themselves or the patients for their eating disorders. She has said that family members should avoid keeping a track of patients’ progress by weighing them. They should listen to patients more often, as many such people with eating disorders might be willing to talk about their issues. These people should not be tagged as patients with eating disorders as they are much more than their issues. Patients with eating disorders are much like people who want to navigate through life but they do not have any clue how to do that in the best way. Stephanie Delgado has said that if parents suspect that their kids might be dealing with eating disorders, it will be a good idea to ask them to join on a shopping trip to a grocery store or shopping mall.
Health experts have said that family members should show concern towards their loved ones who are dealing with eating disorders in a more loving way. They have said that seeking professional help such as going to a counselor, attending a support group, or setting an appointment to tackle the disorder with medicines might be a good option. As per the experts, eating disorders might be an outcome of mental health issues and originates from a lack of self-esteem. However, seeking professional help sooner than later might prevent the long-term effects of eating disorders. Pine Lake Behavioral Health does not provide specific treatment to people who are suffering from eating disorders but it offers support groups and counseling to such patients.