Eating disorder treatment

There are a number of different types of eating disorders. The most well known are anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder; each of these three has its own different symptoms. With anorexia, people starve themselves. They eat very little, exercise a lot, and may take diet pills or purge. Bulimia, on the other hand, involves eating normally or eating to excess and then purging all of the food. Binge eating is similar—a person compulsively eats and eats, but even though they feel horrible guilt over eating so much, they can’t make themselves stop, even when they’re very full.

There are a number of different warning signs that can indicate that someone has an eating disorder. First, a person often starts eating a very restrictive diet. They may skip meals, make up an excuse for not wanting to eat, or suddenly start eating very small servings. They may start obsessively counting calories or paying attention to how much they eat, start taking diet pills, or start exercising a lot more than usual.

For those who are binging, the warning signs can be a bit more difficult to spot. This is because these people usually binge in secret. However, if you find a lot of empty food packages, notice that most of the cupboards and the refrigerator are empty, or find piles of junk food or high-calorie foods hidden in out of the way places, you may have discovered signs of binging. Those who are purging, on the other hand, may suddenly have to go to the restroom after a meal. They may often return from the restroom with a breath mint in their mouth in order to hide the smell of vomit.

There are a few other types of warning signs you may watch for. Sudden weight fluctuation, especially significant weight loss, is one sign. Sometimes, those with eating disorders will start wearing large or baggy clothing to hide their sudden weight loss. They may also start complaining about how fat they are or spend a lot of time in front of the mirror criticizing how they look.

If you suspect that a loved one has an eating disorder or if you have an eating disorder and are ready to seek help, there are several different treatment options. The correct treatment really depends on what kind of eating disorder you have, how severe it is, and what methods work best for you. Since no two people are the same, no two people will respond to treatments in the same way. To truly be effective, treatment for an eating disorder has to address both the physical aspects—eating healthily and correctly—and the psychological issues—why someone thinks they need to lose so much weight.

Often, a person with an eating disorder needs to combine several different types of therapy. Many will need nutritional counseling. By talking to a nutritionist, a person can learn exactly how they can go about eating healthily and getting their body back into shape. They will learn how to eat the best meals possible, achieve dietary goals, and retain a healthy weight.

Generally, a person with an eating disorder will also need to see a therapist or counselor for an extended period of time so that they can explore why they felt the need to eat so little or to purge. This is perhaps even more important than seeing a nutritionist because unless the underlying cause of the eating disorder is found and dealt with, a person will never truly recover. Attending support groups for those with eating disorders can also help in this regard since it can show a person that he or she is not alone in the struggle.

Last updated on Nov 15th, 2009 and filed under Mental Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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