Social pressures. Academic pressures. Physical pressures. Young adults experience constant pressures and expectations in life, impacting their mental wellbeing for more than just academics.

 

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the NHS is treating 55% more patients for eating disorders, with a heartbreaking focus on the age range of 16-25. Resulting perhaps from the loss of socialising, routines, the increase of social media, the pandemic heavily impacted teenagers' lives surrounding food habits and body image. With eating disorders occurring most in 13-17 year olds, how does this affect the long-term academic needs of teenagers?

 

Reported from the American Federation for Teachers, individuals suffering from eating disorders spend 70 to 90 percent of their waking hours worrying about food and weight-related issues. Instead of being able to focus on their education, teenagers afflicted with an eating disorder experience issues regarding concentration in school, even problems processing memories and information. 

 

Factors of irritability and withdrawals from social situations can significantly impact teenagers' friendships and behaviour in school. Invasive thoughts prevent teenagers focusing on their education, restricting their progression in further education. 

 

Physical consequences, such as a poor immune system, can also impact school attendance, limiting achievement available in school. 

 

In contrast, a relation to the cause of many young peoples’ disordered eating is the term ‘perfectionism’, ‘driven.’ A study from the Healthtalk regarded that the academic pressure or competition from exams and the school environment can result in relapse or further illness, with trying to excel, obsessively focusing, while still suffering with differing mental distresses.

 

According to research undertaken by NHS Digital, six in ten 17-19 year olds have ‘possible problems with eating.’ Anxiety, isolation, stress. The Covid pandemic hindered the fight against eating disorders and further help is needed for young people to improve their futures.

Support and advice can be found on Beat https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/