People with eating disorders negatively affected by lockdown


NEW research shows that people with a history of eating disorders experienced significant negative effects during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The research raises awareness of the pandemicís detrimental effects on peopleís mental health, and could be valuable for the future development of health services.
Covid-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, has hospitalized hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and resulted in a significant number of deaths.
However, the pandemic and the emergency measures responding to it, have also had a significant effect on peopleís mental health.
To slow the spread of COVID-19, governments across the world introduced various emergency measures that typically involved some degree of physical distancing or lockdown.
While these lockdowns have been crucial in reducing the diseaseís spread and saving lives, they have also been profoundly disruptive to individuals and society.
Everyday routines changed overnight as people worked from home, became furloughed from their jobs, or were made unemployed.
People living with friends or family were able to maintain some face-to-face socializing. However, people living on their own or with strangers could only see these friends and family virtually ó and only if they had access to the necessary technology.
As with physical health, it has become clear that while the virus can affect anybodyís mental health, it does not do so equally.
Understandably, the pandemic has negatively affected peopleís general mental health. For example, in the United Kingdom, peopleís mental health was generally worse during the pandemic than before. The authors also discovered young people, women, and those living with young children were particularly affected.
However, experts know less about the effects of the pandemic on people with pre-existing mental health diagnoses.
In the present study, the researchers wanted to explore the pandemicís effects on people who had experienced an eating disorder.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, common eating disorders include:
ï anorexia, where people see themselves as overweight when they are underweight
ï bulimia, where people uncontrollably eat significant amounts of food and then compensate for this through behavior that can damage their health.


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