Having an Eating Disorder Is Fatal. Learn the Signs and How to Treat It
If an eating disorder is not arrested, it can lead to a more serious health condition and even death. The bad news is that it is neither a physical nor a physiological illness, but one that is psychological in nature. The good news? It is highly treatable and leaves no permanent scars. However, this only happens if it’s addressed the right away. People who struggle with eating disorders are usually the victims of substance abuse, in a state of severe anxiety, depression, or a combination of everything. They use food to make them feel relieved and in control of unpleasant emotions. The disorder may appear in various ways.
A binging disorder. It is the most common of all eating disorders. The victim eats excessively in short intervals. Sooner or later the body will signal that something is terribly wrong. Therefore other conditions may follow, including high blood pressure, elevated sugar levels, and obesity.
Bulimia nervosa. A person with this condition indulges in a binging disorder, only to purge himself afterward.
Anorexia nervosa. Individuals with this disorder eat up very little to the point of starvation with the aim of losing weight.
“To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.”
― Simone de Beauvoir
None of these conditions is healthy. The occurrence of any should be a cause of great concern. Treatment is highly possible but not at all easy because there is no specific drug to cure the psychological ailment. What is left for the person to do is to follow these steps:
You have to be able to come to terms with your plight and simply admit that you have a problem. It is the very first step towards getting cured. However, this is easier said than done because you are subconsciously telling yourself that you need to eat more or starve yourself because it makes you feel good and unaffected by the issues that you’re struggling with. However, once you have mustered the strength to get better and face your problem, then you are well on your way to the road of recovery.
Look for a specialist
Some people are experts in providing professional help to those with eating disorders. You can’t face your predicament alone. Therefore, you need to find someone who can be with you every step of the way. The key to seeking the right help is to find an expert whom you are most comfortable with. Seek one whom you can entrust your condition with without feeling any shred of embarrassment.
Work on your health problems
Having an eating disorder will surely take its a toll on your health. Therefore, it is best to have yourself examined and checked to determine the extent of the “damage.” Before any psychological or emotional wound is healed, you first need to secure your overall physical health and address any resulting illness brought about by the disorder. There is no use embarking on a treatment journey if your body is damaged.
Create a treatment program
You have already done something about your physical condition. Next, work in close collaboration with the specialists you’ve identified such as the therapist, medical doctor, and nutritionist to draw up a plan that is customized to your needs. The plan will include interventions like therapy sessions, counseling, medical monitoring, and the like. The best treatment program is one that responds not only to the disorder itself but to the underlying reasons and the triggers as well.
Find support groups
Join support groups with whom you would have something in common or those who have been there and have overcome their own problem. There are also professional groups that you can seek personally or through the Internet. Support groups provide enlightenment, reassurance, and confidence in your efforts to get well. Remember that the chances of a successful cure are doubled if you are not on your own.
Reinforce with your own self-help initiatives
To guarantee that you’re on your way to recovery, have your own self-help program to reinforce the treatment. There are several “outlets” and routes that you can take to help ease your struggle. It could be as simple as adopting a new hobby, taking long walks, talking regularly to a friend, or writing a journal of your journey. Keep on telling yourself aloud that you are a beautiful person inside and outside. As such, there is no need to resort to bad habits that you think make you feel and look great. Marvel at your positive traits and accept the reality that everyone has imperfections. And whatever you do, do not diet by skipping meals or being overly conscious of how you look. Finally, be aware of your emotional triggers and make a pact with yourself on what to do should these present themselves.
“The beauty myth is always actually prescribing behaviour and not appearance.”
― Naomi Wolf
An eating disorder is not about food at all. It’s a coping mechanism that becomes a serious problem if you don’t accept it for what it is and deal with it permanently.