Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other binge eating and purging behaviors are worryingly on the increase across the nation. According to the ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa Associated Disorders), eating disorders have the highest mortality rates of any mental illness. These life-threatening disorders usually stem from a lack of self-esteem, and are deeply rooted to issues regarding self-consciousness. Stimulative triggers leading to eating disorders include fear, anxiety, nervousness, stress, misery and other emotions that make a person feel uncomfortable, unhappy or alienated.
These kinds of emotions typically encourage a relentless psychological need to indulge in crash diets involving the excessive or inadequate intake of food, as well as other forms of physical self-harm relating to eating. Eating disorders affect over 24 million Americans, and over 70 million people around the world fall victim to its harmful effects. Most of those suffering from an eating disorder are young adults and teens, and eating disorders have the highest mortality rates of any mental illness. The three largest eating disorders that affect the population today are anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating.
According to a study carried out in 2000, anorexia has become the third most common illness in adolescent sufferers, and can become so serious that they lead to suicide and heart problems. Bulimia is nine times more likely to occur in women than men, and commonly affects about 19 percent of women at the college age. Binge-eating – also known as compulsive overeating disorder – is often linked to bulimia, where victims attempt to rid themselves of the food they have overeaten.
Excessive vomiting and purging can cause severe problems to the human body, including chronic harm to the mouth, throat, stomach and heart. Sufferers of an eating disorder are also generally linked to depressive thoughts about their weight and physical appearance. The road to recovery initially begins with a sufferer admitting they have a problem. Although this is a wholly difficult first step to carry out, eating disorders are curable given the appropriate treatment program.
Old and profoundly ingrained habits are hard to break but never impossible. Individual treatment plans are frequently customized to the needs of the sufferer in question, with the fundamental end result being the return to a healthy weight and state of mind. Although underweight patients and those suffering from malnutrition may need to be hospitalized, detrimental eating disorder behaviors can be unlearned if you are ready to ask others for assistance.
After careful psychological analysis and medical monitoring, a highly detailed exercise regimen is created. This includes a nutritional counseling education as well as proactive techniques to stop detrimental eating habits and discontinue any purging behavior. Individual, group, and/or family psychotherapy, also known as “talk therapy”, is combined with antidepressant medication to effectively curb eating disorders.
Successfully overcoming an eating disorder calls for more than giving up unhealthy eating behaviors, because it also requires you to rediscover who you are, away from any unhealthy thoughts you have about your weight, eating habits and body image. Addressing the innate health problems at hand and making a long-term treatment plan are essential aspects that will help you to recuperate.
At A Place of Hope for Eating Disorders, we can help those who seek eating disorder treatments and require help with bulimia, anorexia or compulsive overeating. Our team of specialists, psychologists and nutritionists will help you to address the psychological, physical and spiritual issues that lay behind your symptoms. If you think you or a close friend or family member may be suffering from an eating disorder, please contact us now to find out more information on our treatment programs.