Bulimia, anorexia and binge eating are eating disorders involving the excessive or inadequate intake of sustenance on a regular basis. Sadly, they are on the increase throughout the United States: 24 million Americans are suffering from their harmful effects, with more than 70 million people affected globally. Eating disorders cause serious medical problems and can prove fatal in worst-case scenarios. They can damage your heart, stomach, throat, muscles, teeth and skin, as well as causing a condition called osteoporosis where your bones become weak and break easily due to a lack of sufficient nutrients.
Eating disorders have the highest mortality rates related to any kind of mental illness, with life-threatening psychological triggers connected to extremely emotional states of mind. This includes stress, nervousness and anxiety, as well as other emotions that leave someone feeling intensely unhappy and/or uncomfortable. Unfortunately, most eating disorders begin due to someone wanting to lose weight, possibly through peer pressure or some type of societal-induced stress regarding a person’s size. They may start to binge eat, and can find themselves feeling increasingly awkward when eating in front of other people (especially friends and family members).
Although commonly seen throughout the world as an issue exclusively involving young women, research has now found that anorexia affects women in their thirties and forties, and also affects a substantial sector of the male population as well. Major changes or alterations in a person’s lifestyle (such as divorce or the death of a loved one) may trigger the existence of an eating disorder. Those who suffer from an eating disorder are overly concerned with the way their body appears to both themselves and others, which is typically derived from deep psychological issues regarding a lack of confidence or self-belief.
Here are a few basic signs that may denote the presence of an eating disorder:
- Meticulously counting calories, or keeping a “Food Diary”. Every meal is a chore that you do not enjoy, so skipping meals is therefore a frequent occurrence.
- Adhering to firm, self-created rules regarding what you eat. If these rules are not successfully policed, or are in some way unintentionally broken, you will feel angst, guilt, self-hatred or severe restlessness.
- Finding it difficult to concentrate on everyday tasks due to invasive thoughts associated with food, the act of eating or mealtimes in general.
- Palpable feelings of fear or dread about eating in front of other people, especially if you think they are judging how much you consume.
- Possessing an enormously unhealthy infatuation regarding your body weight – and shape – that goes way beyond realistic expectations.
To receive eating disorder treatment, the first step is always the hardest – to admit that you have a problem. Recovery starts once someone acknowledges that they need help and can ask others for assistance. Although pre-established habits are hard to break, eating disorders are wholly heal-able. When you ask for support, a suitable treatment program can be arranged. Individual psychotherapy treatments can be tailored and continually modified to the requirements of the sufferer, with the upshot being the safe return of a healthy state of mind when it comes to food, nutrition and eating habits.
Damaging eating disorder behaviors can be eradicated if you are ready to ask for help. At A Place of Hope for Counseling and Health Resources, we can help those who seek treatments involving bulimia, anorexia, purge eating, binge eating and compulsive overeating. Under the expert tutelage of Dr. Gregory Jantz, our team of A Place Of Hope For Eating Disorders specialists, psychologists and nutritionists will help you to address the psychological and physical issues that lay behind your eating disorder symptoms. If you think you or a close friend or family member may be suffering from an eating disorder, please contact us online. Alternatively, you can call us toll free on 1-888-771-5166 for more information on our eating disorder treatment programs.