Eating is an integral part of every human being's life. However, it can be dangerous to some extent.
A person's eating behavior can affect their health, emotions, and functionality. If this is the case, they could be suffering from an eating disorder. An obsession with food can result in unhealthy eating behavior. Most cases are mild, but some are serious to the extent of causing death to the victim. It affects people of all genders and ages, but some are at a higher risk. People are more likely to experience a form of eating disorder when in their adolescent years. Young women are also at risk. Many factors cause eating disorders. They include genetics, personality traits, exposure to media, and many others.
Common Eating Disorders
There are quite a few different eating disorders that some people may suffer from. Some of those most well known include:
- Anorexia Nervosa - This is the most heard of eating disorders. It is more common among women and affects victims in their adolescence. Victims tend to see themselves as or feel overweight, even when they actually need to add some weight. To control their weight, they avoid some types of foods. They also highly or rather dangerously restrict their caloric intake. Some common symptoms include being underweight for their age or height. Restricted eating plans and refusal to maintain proper weight are signs too. Victims engage in extreme activities to compensate for eating some foods. They harbor strong fears for weight gain (even when they are underweight).
- Bulimia Nervosa - Bulimia Nervosa in the age it hits victims, mostly adolescents. It also happens to be more common in women compared to men. Bulimia patients tend to consume large portions of food in a short time. Such persons feel the inability to control how much they eat. They are unable to stop eating and end up painfully full. After excessive eating, they try to compensate for the excess calories. They do this through some very harmful methods. They will engage in excessive exercise, force vomiting, and even fasting. They are in constant fear of gaining weight, even in cases where they are of proper weight.
- Binge Eating Disorder - This particular type is the most common among Americans. Like others, it strikes victims in their adolescent ages. It is, however, different because it can develop into later years. BED patients eat large amounts of food in short periods. They are, however, different because they do not engage in purging behaviours. They will not induce vomiting or over-exercise. A binge eating disorder victim is very likely to be obese or overweight. This puts them at risk of health complications.
How Can One Get Help For Eating Disorders?
There are different ways and steps of recovery for eating disorder victims. Psychological therapy is the most recommended form of treatment for eating disorders. It revolves around two professionals: a psychologist and mental health expert. The treatment may include one or a combination of these types of therapy.
- Cognitive-behavioural therapy - In this therapy, they rectify a patients' behaviour and thoughts. This way, they develop good eating behaviours.
- Family-based therapy - This is where a patient's family learns healthy feeding patterns. This is so that they can help the victim on their path to recovery.
- Group cognitive behaviour therapy - As the name suggests, it's a group thing. This is where a group of victims meet a mental health expert.
Educating yourself about nutrition is an important facet of things. Eating disorder patients can consult recognized diet experts for help. This way, they will learn how to manage their eating habits. The main goals for this treatment are the following.
- They strive to meet a healthy weight
- They train on meal planning and execution
- They teach on avoidance of bingeing
- They also correct malnutrition caused by health issues.
There are no medicinal options for eating disorders. Some medical drugs combined with therapy are a step towards healing. The medications prescribed for such patients vary, but antidepressants are the most common. Antidepressants reduce binge-eating and purging.
Eating disorders are deadly if left unattended. There are many myths out there about this condition, but now you know better. The condition is treatable if the victim is ready and willing. All treatment and medical successes depend on the attitude towards them. The selection of a suitable treatment method is also crucial.