By Louis Mattaboni and Thomas “TJ” Mattaboni
This essay was inspired by the article Corona Virus Can Make Things “Much Worse” for People with Eating Disorders by Rachel DeSantis on People.Com. The YouTube video Louis-Anorexia in Women During Quarantine by Esoteric Tha Producers also aided in this article’s creation. With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading around the world, it has created many different problems for many different people. One issue would be the toll it can take on an individual’s mental health. Whether it is due to fear of losing loved ones or boredom from being under lock down, everyone is having to deal with some emotional issues. One of these effects is the toll that it has begun to take on the many victims of anorexia.
What is Anorexia and What Causes it?
To begin, Anorexia is an eating disorder that causes people to attempt to control their body weight in extreme and often harmful ways. According to Mayoclinic.org, victims of this disorder will often fast themselves and exercise in excessive amounts in order to prevent weight gain. They may also distance themselves from those around them or appear emotionless.
Problems Caused by COVID-19
All of this begs the question: Why is the Corona Virus causing problems for anorexia victims? According to Rachel DeSantis, those who are in recovery from this disorder rely heavily on set routines to ensure that they can stay in control of their way of living. However, with the pandemic bringing massive changes to everyone’s lives, these victims are unable to maintain those set routines. This can lead to them reverting back to old habits. Resulting in harsh treatment of their own bodies. Another problem that the virus is causing is prolonged isolation. With the pandemic leading people into quarantining themselves, people are facing feelings of loneliness. This is because they are unable to interact with their friends or family members. This is problematic because Rachel DeSantis mentions in her article that isolation is another common cause of anorexia.
So, what can be done to aid those with this disorder during these hard times? Going back to the article by DeSantis, she states that friends and family members of these individuals can try and be understanding of them. While those who do not have anorexia may never develop a complete understanding of the mindset of those who do, they can be someone who can listen to them and ask them what they need. While they may not be able to serve as a therapist, they can still be helpful to these victims.
Regardless of how this pandemic affects any individual, something that we should all remember is that the storm will not last forever. Although this event will change most of us forever, there is always hope of recovery and moving forward. For those who have anorexia (or any disorder for that matter) they can take comfort in knowing that this pandemic will eventually run its course. Once it does end, everyone will have one of two options. They can either return to their old routines or establish new ones and continue to fight their mental illnesses.
Definition of Anorexia from Mayoclinic.org: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anorexia-nervosa/symptoms-causes/syc-20353591
“Corona Virus Can Make Things “Much Worse” for People with Eating Disorders” by Rachel DeSantis https://people.com/human-interest/coronavirus-eating-disorders-impact/
“Louis-Anorexia in Women During Quarantine” by Esoteric Tha Producers https://youtu.be/HOG9hrS_bdU