Eating disorders are often misunderstood as people’s lifestyle choices. However, just like you would not fake having cancer, people cannot pretend to have an eating disorder. These are medical illnesses in which people go through disturbances in their eating patterns. These disorders are linked with people’s emotions and thoughts. People with eating disorders are obsessed with food and their body weight and shape. Three of the most common eating disorders include, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa is one of the deadliest mental illnesses in which people strictly restrict their intake of food. Even if they are extremely underweight, they still see themselves as fat or overweight. People with eating disorders are at higher risk of early death and suicidal attempts.
Millions of Americans suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives. It is due to the societal pressure that praises the thin and look down upon the bulkier people. Anorexia, which is indeed starvation, takes a toll on a person’s psychological well-being. A number of life-threatening physical symptoms often coexist with psychological effects. Firstly, the affected people do not opt for treatments for these illnesses and hide them for years. Moreover, finding an effective treatment for an eating disorder becomes even more difficult because the more physically ill a person is, the harder it is to provide them with psychiatric care at the same medical facility. Due to which there is a higher risk of these people relapsing to the disordered eating habits. The situation becomes aggravated due to the lack of understanding of the psychological aspects of these diseases. This makes the dieticians and psychiatrists unprepared to treat the complications.
The first step towards a true recovery is that you accept yourself, your body, and your feelings and reach out for support. With psychotherapy, the root causes of these eating disorders can be addressed and the emotions which trigger them can be treated. A combination of treatments that focus not only on the physical health but also the psychological and nutritional management can help a person break free from their eating disorder and towards a journey of healing.