Instead of decreasing, the number of young people in Singapore who suffer from eating disorders has risen during the past few years, according to an article on StraitsTimes.com. Youth in Singapore feel constant pressure from social media connections, where habits of body-praising and body-shaming are pervasive. Unfortunately, this kind of pressure often leads to harmful relationships with food, and then to severe health problems that range from malnutrition to organ damage.

Early Detection

People often think of eating disorders as an affliction of teenagers and young adults, many of whom are working through body image issues. However, the truth is that an eating disorder can begin at a very young age, sometimes as early as the tween or pre-teen years. At least one patient in Singapore was nine years old at the time of treatment. Statistically, about three in four patients suffering from an eating disorder in Singapore are under 21 years old.

Skyrocketing Statistics

During the past year, the Singapore General Hospital Eating Disorders Programme took on 170 new patients, four times the number of patients who came in at the programme’s inception back in 2003. The number is 42% higher than the number of new patients seen during 2010. Looking at these figures, it’s easy to see that the problem is becoming worse, not better.

Under the Surface

According to one psychiatrist in Singapore, the local clinics are completely booked with patients who have eating disorders; but she suspects that far more of these young people are existing below the radar. They are struggling in silence, perhaps because they have convinced themselves that they don’t have a problem, or because they are afraid of what others may think if they are honest about their eating habits.

Female Body Image Challenges

Women, in particular, suffer from the pressures of society, which tends to view thinness as a major element of beauty. Ads, clothing trends, and social media campaigns praise slimness and thinness. Teens and young women are constantly challenged to have tiny waists, thigh gaps, skinny legs, and slim arms. Bombarded with such messages from every angle, many women feel powerless to find a healthy balance and instead slip into a hateful relationship with food.

Confidential Counseling

You may be reluctant to think of yourself as someone with an eating disorder. Maybe you’re afraid of social stigma or repercussions if you are honest about your struggles and seek help from a psychiatrist in Singapore.

It’s not worth putting your own health at risk just to obtain someone else’s favour. Take the first step and make an appointment for a consultation at Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic. There’s no judgment here – just a team of dedicated mental health professionals who are eager to listen and to help you identify possible risk factors in your life.

With the aid of an Adelphi psychologist in Singapore, you can start on the road to a much healthier relationship with food. If you have a friend or family member in your life who may be struggling with food issues or body image problems, encourage that person to seek help before it’s too late.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Straits Times, August 28, 2016