How Older Women Become at Risk of Eating Disorders

senior people eating on a tableEating disorders have a distinct image in people’s minds: young women. But in reality, these mental illnesses affect everyone, including older people. In fact, there are plenty of factors that make women in their 30s and 40s at risk. Here are some of them:

Divorce

A marital separation, whether it’s amicable or violent, is an overwhelming shift in one’s life. The reality of being alone is unbearable, and the prospect of going back to the dating scene spurs insecurities on one’s aging appearance. Here, the divorced middle-aged woman’s confidence would most likely take a dip for the worse.

To get back on track, women get obsessed with getting that youthful, slim body back. Unfortunately, this often comes with unhealthy behaviors, like restricting food intake, taking illicit drugs or purging.

Empty Nest

This is another difficult transition for many women. Moms experience a sense of validation in their kids. Some even fully embrace the motherhood role that they no longer take on other roles in public or work life. As a result, mothers often suffer low self-confidence when children, the source of their self-worth, leave the family home for college or for starting a family.

Most women then try to find their identity and purpose in living overly healthy lifestyles, like getting into crazy, strict diets and over exercising. In such cases, facilities specializing in eating disorder treatment in Westport start with reorienting negative thoughts on self-worth to reverse negative behaviors.

Illness

Women in their 30s and 40s are more vulnerable to diseases. As the body changes as it copes with the illness and treatment, the woman’s body image also takes a shift. Breast cancer surgery, for instance, sometimes requires removal of the breasts. This could take a toll on a woman’s self-perception and may drive her to unhealthy habits, like extreme weight loss to compensate for this body imperfection.

It’s not just young women who are at risk of eating disorders. Your mother, adult daughters, and your female bosses are vulnerable, too. You yourself may be at risk as well. When you see symptoms of the disorder, talk to your doctor immediately.