Eating disorders are a group of mental illnesses characterized by abnormal eating habits. An eating disorder involves either insufficient or excessive food intake that leads to an adverse effect on one’s physical and mental health. The most common forms of eating disorders in the United states are binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, and anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by a distorted body image, known to psychologists as body dismorphia. Anorexics have an obsessive fear of gaining weight. Therefore, they take extreme measures such as taking diet pills, compulsive exercising, and starving themselves in order to constantly lose weight. Bulimia nervosa is characterized by the same body dysmorphia. People suffering from bullimia binge eat followed by purging (vomiting), compulsive exercising, use of laxatives or diuretics to lose weight. Binge eating disorders cause individuals to engage in obsessive eating habits where they can not control how much food they consume. Binge eating disorders can lead to dangerous health issues such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Although these disorders are most prominent among women, eating disorders effect men as well. Eating disorders can be extremely dangerous. They have proven to be the number one killer out of all mental illnesses.
Fortunately, people can overcome their eating disorders by seeking out eating disorder recovery. There are numerous eating disorder recovery centers throughout the United States. People can find binge eating recovery along with restricting eating recovery. In eating disorder treatment centers, many methods are applied depending on the severity of the eating disorder. Methods include, cognitive behavior therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and interpersonal psychotherapy.
Eating disorder recovery statistics show that the best treatment for anorexia nervosa is a 3-step approach. Patients begin to restore a healthy weight, participate in counseling for distorted body image and low self esteem, and achieve long-lasting recovery through ongoing treatment. Ongoing treatment can consist of eating disorder outpatient programs, or individual therapy.
For the treatment of bulimia, the goal of treatment is to break the cycle of binging and purging. This takes a combination of nutritional rehabilitation, psychosocial intervention, and medication management strategies. A patient eats healthy sized meals throughout the day and is encouraged to participate in moderate exercise.
Treatment for binge eating disorder is still up for debate. Some experts believe obesity is the number one problem resulting from binge eating. Therefore, they encourage extreme diet and exercise. Some binge eaters seek recovery in 12-step programs such as over eaters anonymous.
Although eating disorders can be physically and emotionally damaging, eating disorder treatment statistics give hope to recovering patients. Individuals suffering from eating disorders can get the help they need and live successful, happy, lives.