Does Emma Chamberlain Have An Eating Disorder?

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In this blog, we will be talking about what feeding and eating disorders are, types of eating disorders, symptoms, and causes. Further, we will be summarizing an interview where Emma Chamberlain admitted to be suffering from an eating disorder and also body dysmorphia. 

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Does Emma Chamberlain Have An Eating Disorder?

Yes, Emma Chamberlain has admitted to her battles with an eating disorder and also body dysmorphia but she hasn’t revealed which eating disorder she was suffering from but she has been vocal about her mental health struggles.

Before we start talking about Emma Chamberlain and her eating disorder, we need to 

understand who is Emma Chamberlain, what eating disorders are, and then discuss her struggles. 

Who is Emma Chamberlain? 

Emma Chamberlain, now 20-years-old was born in San Bruno, California in the year 2001. She is a YouTuber who released her first video in the year 2017 when she was 16 years old. She rose to fame by the time she was 18 years old. 

However, the way she caught the eyes of millions of people was quite different from conventional means. Her content included candid and funny vlogs about her own life. Now she has about 15 million followers on Instagram and also owns her own brand of coffee. She also partners with a lot of fashion brands.

Feeding and eating disorders 

Feeding and eating disorders are characterized by eating-related problematic behaviors or disturbance of eating in a healthy fashion, that might cause changes in absorption or consumption of food which negatively impacts psychosocial functioning or physical health. 

The DSM-5 includes rumination disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder pica, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder in feeding and eating disorders. 

Let us now look at the various types of eating disorders in brief. 

  • Pica 

The main identifying feature of pica is the consumption of one or more non-nutritive substances which are not considered foods for a period of at least 1 month, persistently. Non-nutritive substances can include things like paper, soap, cloth, paint, gum, ash, clay, ice, etc. Consumption of these substances is considered developmentally inappropriate and are also not culturally supported or ingested. Pica can also be associated with other mental health disorders like Autism, schizophrenia, and intellectual disability disorder. 

  • Rumination disorder 

Rumination disorder is recognized by repeated regurgitation of food items after eating or feeding. The condition should exist for a period of at least 1 month.  A person suffering from this disorder regurgitates (brings up) previously swallowed or partially swallowed food, without any apparent or obvious disgust and nausea. The regurgitated food is then re-chewed, thrown out of the mouth, or re-swallowed. This disorder occurs in tandem with intellectual disability (ID). 

  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder 

As the name suggests, the individual avoids or restricts the intake of food. Significant weight loss, dependence on intravenous feeding or oral supplements, and interference with psychosocial functioning are the main symptoms of this disorder. 

Nutritional deficiency is significantly seen and in infants, it can be life-threatening. Adults, as mentioned before, might be dependent on supplements and can also have other physical impacts such as anemia, bradycardia, and hypothermia. 

 When food restriction or avoidance is based on the sensory characteristics such as extreme sensitivity to appearance, color, texture, smell, etc., then such behavior can be described as “restrictive eating,” “selective eating,” and “food neophobia.”

  • Anorexia Nervosa

The key symptom includes an intense fear of weight gain, activities that might lead to weight gain, and restriction of energy intake. All these features are persistent and the individual has a significantly lower body mass index (BMI) than what is developmentally healthy. 

The main reason for these behaviors is that the individual’s perception of shape and body weight is highly distorted. Some might feel as if they are gaining weight even if they eat a little something or might feel as if they are extremely overweight. They think whatever they perceive is correct regardless of their weight. 

  • Bulimia Nervosa

The identifying symptom and features include repetitive episodes of binge eating, repetitive and inappropriate behaviors to compensate by self-induced vomiting and to prevent weight gain and finally the distorted perceiving of one’s body. 

To put it simply, people with bulimia may secretly binge with a loss of control over their eating and then purge, in other words, vomit, trying to get rid of the extra calories they think they may have gained. Apart from purging behaviors, they may also take laxatives which might bring about diarrhea, weight loss supplements, etc. they seem preoccupied with the thoughts about their weight. 

  • Binge-eating disorder

The binge-eating disorder includes repetitive episodes of binge eating that on average occur for at least 3 months, at least once a week. 

The behaviors cause extreme distress and feature rapid consumption of food, until they feel uncomfortable, eating even when they are not hungry, eating secretly because they are embarrassed about their eating, feeling disgusted, angry and guilty over their behavior. 

Causes and risk factors of feeding and eating disorders 

The exact reasons that may lead to the development of eating disorders are not known. There may be many causes similar to that of other mental illnesses, such as genetics and biology, and/or psychological or emotional health. 

The risk factors include family history; which is, likely to occur if someone in the family is suffering or suffered from any eating disorders.

People who have other mental health conditions are also at the risk of developing eating disorders, especially people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Other risk factors include feelings of stress, guilt, and failure in important life events. 

Emma Chamberlain’s struggles with her mental health

Like any other influencer and YouTuber, Emma also becomes a target for criticism and bullying. In an interview given a little more than a couple of years ago, Emma admitted her struggles with an eating disorder and also body dysmorphia. 

She explained that growing up on social media and putting herself out there gave her a lot of eating issues as a kid. In her own words, she said ‘I literally have struggled with that my whole life. 

Almost every person I’ve met has had some form of an eating disorder. I mean, I’ve had…I don’t want to trigger anyone, but so many.’  her job involved looking at herself for hours and hours as she edited her videos at her home, this had caused her to have body dysmorphia. She often felt like she looked significantly larger than she actually appeared. 

Body dysmorphic disorder involves focusing on perceived flaws in appearance quite obsessively. Emma always read comments on her body, how she was too thin or too weak for example. However, she never reacted or addressed these body-shaming comments. Dealing with her eating disorder and dysmorphia encouraged Emma to not use photo editing software like face tunes. 

She always tries to be open about how she looks regardless of what she looks like.  

Like Emma mentioned, many people go through feeding and eating disorders, these conditions are treatable and can be managed. Let us see how that can be done. 

Treatment and management of eating disorders

Treatment of eating and feeding disorders generally involves a team approach. The team typically consists of GPs, mental health professionals, and dietitians — all with experience in eating disorders. 

The treatment depends on the specificity of the eating disorder. But in general, it typically includes nutritional education, psychotherapy, and medication. In situations where your life is in danger, you may need to be hospitalized immediately.

Family-based therapy (FBT)

Family-based therapy is a treatment based on evidence, particularly for children and adolescents with eating disorders. The family is involved in ensuring that the child or other family member is eating healthily and maintaining a healthy weight. This is especially useful as most eating disorders develop during adolescence when young teenagers have to deal with the illusion of perfection around them.  

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT is widely used in the treatment of eating disorders, particularly bulimia and binge eating disorders. People will learn how to manage and improve their eating habits and mood, develop problem-solving skills, and explore healthier ways to deal with situations that are stressful. It has a lot to do with converting the negative beliefs they hold about themselves into positive thoughts and actions. 

Medications

There are no drugs that can cure an eating disorder. However, certain types of medications can help you control the urge to binge or purge, or manage over-preoccupying thoughts with food and nutrition. Medications such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can help with symptoms of depression or anxiety that often accompany feeding and eating disorders.

Conclusion

We answered the question “Does Emma Chamberlain Have An Eating Disorder?” and also covered different types of eating disorders, symptoms of these disorders, causes and risk factors associated with these disorders, Emma and her mental health struggles, and treatment of these disorders. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs): Does Emma Chamberlain Have An Eating Disorder?

What is the most serious eating disorder?

Any time of eating disorder can turn out to be serious. But among the ones mentioned, Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa can be severely life-threatening. 

Who is most likely to have an eating disorder? 

Young children, teenage girls, and women are the most likely to be diagnosed by an eating disorder. They occur in males too. 

What are the two types of anorexia?

Anorexia falls into two general types – restricting type and binge eating/purging type. 

How long can an eating disorder last? 

Typically, an eating disorder can last on an average of 5 to 8 years. However, without proper treatment it can last more than this. 

Do supermodels have eating disorders? 

Perhaps the fashion and modeling industry harbors more than 40% of diagnosed cases for eating disorders. This has a lot to do with the pressure of meeting the ‘beauty standards’ set by the industry. 

Which celebrities have suffered from eating disorders? 

Some celebrities that have admitted to be suffering from or suffered from eating disorders are; Demi Lovato, Russell Brand, Lady Gaga, Elton John, etc. 

Why would someone have an eating disorder? 

As far as this issue is concerned, anyone who has a gene that increases the aforementioned disorder’s risk, can have this disorder. Not only genes but environmental and psychological factors also play a major role in inducing an eating disorder.

References 

Abraham, S., & Llewellyn-Jones, D. (1984). Eating disorders: The facts. New York: OxfordUniversity Press.

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).

Birmingham, C. L. (2011). Physical effects of eating disorders. In J. Alexander & J. Treasure (Eds.), A collaborative approach to eating disorders(pp. 93–101). New York: Taylor & Francis.

https://www.healthline.com/health/celebrities-with-eating-disorders#8.-Elton-John

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