Eating Disorders impact a person’s biological and psychological functioning in ways unlike other mental disorders. While once thought to be the disorder of the affluent, eating disorders have proliferated among various cultures, geographical locations, socioeconomic statuses, ages, and genders. Young adolescent girls continue to make up the largest group of sufferers, and tend to be the most vulnerable.
What is Anorexia Nervosa?
People with Anorexia Nervosa are typified by restricting their food and diet to the point that they lose excessive amounts of weight/body fat. In addition to food restriction, exercise abuse is common.
What is Bulimia Nervosa?
Sufferers of Bulimia Nervosa engage in “binge eating” where extremely high numbers of calories are consumed followed by some effort to “rid” oneself of the calories. The most common method of “purging” such calories is self inducing vomiting.
Another form of ridding calories is alternating periods of starvation or exercise abuse for extended periods of time. Abuse of laxatives is also common. The hallmark of Bulimia Nervosa is the gorging of self with food to the point of physical exhaustion or food refusal.
Other Eating Disorders
Other forms of disordered eating, although less prevalent include compulsive overeating, orthorexia (exercise abuse), and hybrids of eating disordered symptoms (e.g. purging anorexia). All eating disorders are characterized by a lifestyle that is essentially organized around the drive to self-soothe. The problem tends to be progressive. Not only is the individual impacted by the disorder, but so to are friends, family and loved ones.
The rate of comorbidity with the diagnosis of eating disorders is high. A person with an eating disorder will often suffer from other problems such as depression, anxiety and chemical dependency.
Steps To Treat An Eating Disorder
A thorough assessment is the key to beginning the process of recovery. While there is no “cure” for an eating disorder, a multidisciplinary approach including psychological, psychiatric, medical, nutritional, and family involvement prove to be an invaluable combination. Arguably the most challenging obstacle to the process is the level of motivation the sufferer has to recover.
More Ways to Get Help Now
We offer cognitive behavior therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, mindfulness meditation, group therapy. and medication. Depending on your needs, here’s how you can get help now: