While it is evident that the coronavirus pandemic is causing a significant consequence globally, there is a new revelation, according to a study conducted by Northumbria’s Department of Psychology. The study reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed an overwhelming, negative impact on almost 85 percent of people with eating disorders.
According to the research, the pandemic increases further, unique challenges for people with eating disorders.
During the study, participants involved a scientific community exploring the pandemic’s mental health results for vulnerable groups. The groups included individuals with severe mental health disorders, the elderly, and those who struggled with eating disorders before.
Apart from raising awareness of coronavirus impact for those with eating disorders, the published results from the research are likely to influence future provisions, health services, guidance, and policies.
Exploring the Pandemic’s Impact on Wellbeing
During the initial phases of the British pandemic lockdown, two professional doctors surveyed people struggling to recover from eating disorders.
The results implied that interferences in regular routines due to social distancing and lockdown might have an unfavorable impact on people’s mental wellbeing. Almost 87% percent of participants reported worsened symptoms due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the findings, the unfavorable impacts include increased feelings of social isolation, reduced feelings of behavioral control, increased contemplation about eating disorders, and low social support feelings.
After a complete analysis of among participants’ reactions, the doctors discovered that the adverse effects might have resulted from changes to the following aspects among them:
- living conditions
- treatment accessibility
- time spent with loved ones and family
- routine engagement in physical activity
- technology utilization
- relationship with food
Additional Significant Discoveries
One primary challenge experienced by surveyed participants was a decrease in healthcare service provision or inconsistency in access to health providers.
Some accounted that health providers discharged them too early from inpatient units. Also, others reported suspension from treatment or being held on the waiting list and obtaining inadequate post-diagnostic support.
The research team cautioned that the lack of specialized treatment for eating disorders during the pandemic could be severe. In some cases, some conditions may worsen and even become fatal.
Social media posts and media coverage were also mentioned as anxiety sources owing to the overall population’s obsession with weight gain, food, and exercise.
Although researchers recognized some positive aspects of utilizing technology, participants continually emphasized eating and exercise. These factors have been dominating across social media platforms during the lockdown.
Academics emphasized that although positive information about exercise and diet can be helpful for a large population, health providers and the government must admit that such factors can create triggers or upset vulnerable people.
Final Thoughts from the Recover
According to this research, addressing eating disorder issues requires further developments within healthcare, governance, and research. Perhaps, taking such actions could benefit those with eating disorders, including mental health conditions more broadly.
Besides, if you or a loved one struggle with an eating disorder, ensure to visit a nearby rehab center for further support. Most rehabs have professional therapists and doctors who can address this habit and other mental needs.