Eating Disorders

Bulimia and anorexia nervosa are examples of eating disorders that pose serious threats to the patient’s mental well-being. People who are diagnosed with an eating disorder do not have a normal and healthy eating habit. This is common in women and this disorder affects their happiness and health as well as the people around them. About 2% of adult women are affected with eating disorders and only a few percentages are men. Patients need a lot of understanding and an even greater need for help.

Anorexia nervosa

This condition is a kind of eating disorder. Those afflicted with anorexia nervosa do not eat well enough. They think that they have a problem with their physical look and that it is the main reason for their problems. People with this eating disorder may think that they are fat even when they are already too thin. Their self-esteem suffers and this affects their health very seriously. They develop a lot of complications like poor blood circulation, hair loss, kidney disease and brittle bones.

Bulimia nervosa

This condition is an eating disorder wherein those who are affected by it cannot stick to a proper and nutritional diet and eating pattern. These people eat so much in one meal and then stave off eating for the rest of the day. This is called binging. They feel guilty and out of control so they panic and reprimand themselves by starving, over-exercising, taking laxatives and makes themselves feel sick. This leads to a lot of physical damage like having tooth decay, intestinal damage, constipation, and even kidney and heart diseases. A person has bulimia nervosa if they avoid eating with company and if they go to the lavatory once they finish a meal. 

Causes of eating disorders

There are usually underlying causes for a person to develop an eating disorder. If the patient is a teenager, hormonal imbalance or changes, coupled with low self-esteem as a result of bullying or school work, could trigger the disorder. Bingeing, or eating a huge amount in one meal, makes the patient feel in control of their lives.
Some experts associate eating disorders with fashion and media demand. Western culture dictates that slim women are fashionable but not everyone could be slim or thin because we all have different sizes and body shapes. Patients with eating disorders feel that they will only be happy if they have reached their goal of becoming the images displayed in media.

Treatments for eating disorders

Self-help

Self-help books are available on bookshops and can be used on your own or ask someone to help you with it. Going to the doctor for help or from a nurse could also do the trick. These sorts of books are helpful because it details strategies to improve eating habits. Medical experts are usually the ones who write these books but they draw the content based from their patients or people who have the same disorder. Aside from strategies, they also help the patient deal with the problems and eventually help them be more open about it to other people.

Help from caregivers

If someone close to you is undergoing an eating disorder or is showing some symptoms of the disorder, make them understand that you are there to support and help them in any way you can. Offer them ideas or suggestions on how they could get better or encourage them to join support groups.

Help from your doctor

The first step to recovery starts with consulting your doctor. His expertise may not be about eating disorders but he could recommend you to see specialists who could help you eventually. The doctor could help assess the severity of the disorder and its impact on your physical and mental.

Specialist’s help

A specialist could help the patient deal with the eating disorder through talking about it and understanding the patient’s dilemma in an emotional and psychological level. This could lead to having a sense of control over the things that the patient eats. Talk therapies and cognitive behavioural therapy are effective as well as counselling. These therapies deal with the underlying emotional stress rather than the obvious signs of the problem.