Eating Disturbances – Anorexia and Bulimia

Eating disturbances are serious mental illnesses  defined by abnormal eating habits that negatively affect people, causing the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, which is why treatment is often so critical. They frequently coexist with other mental illnesses such as depression, substance abuse, or anxiety disorders.

The media can be a culprit for generating images that falsify the reality of human bodies. This behaviour’s society drives an individual to idealize the representation of body perfection. As scientists unfold the blueprint of our genetic make-up, it is evident that both environment and genetics play an integral role in the formation of body image.

Nowadays, depression and discouragement resulting from the numerous and lasting difficulties of daily life, are predisposing causes of somatic diseases due to the state of weakness and lack of energy of the body to react against the environment. In this category are many agents, being these physical, moral, or social, capable of changing the body and affect its physical health, destroying the physical balance of the human being.

Bad eating behavior may include inadequate or excessive food intake which can ultimately damage an individual’s well-being. They are associated with a wide range of adverse psychological, physical, and social consequences. Regardless of the age of people, at the time the eating disorder begins, there can often be a considerable period of time between onset and the time of first treatment.

Eating disorders are associated with significant physical complications and increased mortality. The mortality rate for people with eating disturbances is the highest of all psychiatric illnesses, and over 12 times higher than that for people without such problems. Through these situations, are followed by a conduct that compensates for the overeating such as forced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, excessive exercise, or a combination of these behaviors.

In addressing the many medical complications of an eating disorder, the more urgent concerns typically take priority, such as undernourishment or an unstable heartbeat. However, some of the health consequences related to eating disorders affect the individual in the long term, even if they aren’t more apparent or obvious. Bone loss, or osteoporosis, is a silent but debilitating condition that commonly impacts people with eating disorders, such as anorexia.

Through eating disturbances treatment, those with anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder are given the tools and skills to get well. These strategies are designed to help them cope with uncomfortable feelings or distress; they are intended to replace the need for the eating disorder and prevent a relapse.

Furthermore, people may see a number of health professionals before receiving a correct diagnosis. This delay is likely to negatively influence the duration of the eating disorder and the outcomes of treatment. Evidences show that early diagnosis and intervention can greatly reduce the duration and severity of an eating disorder. It is therefore vital to seek professional help at the earliest possible time.

People with anorexia see themselves as overweight, even when they are clearly underweight.  People with anorexia typically weigh themselves repeatedly, portion food carefully, and eat very small quantities of only certain foods. Eating, food, and weight control become an obsession. Others with bulimia have recurrent and frequent episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food and feel a lack of control over these episodes.

Unlike anorexia people with bulimia usually maintain what is considered a healthy or normal weight, while some are slightly overweight. But like those with anorexia, they often fear gaining weight, want desperately to lose weight, and are intensely unhappy with their body size and shape. Usually, bulimic behavior is done secretly because it is often accompanied by feelings of disgust or shame. The binge eating and purging cycle can happen anywhere from several times a week to many times a day.

Some signs and symptoms of  eating disturbances are: chronic dieting despite being hazardously underweight, constant weight fluctuations,obssessive treatment involving calories and fat contents of food , engaging in eating patterns, such as cutting food into tiny pieces, eating alone, and/or hiding food,
continued fixation with food, recipes, or cooking, depression or lethargic stage avoiding social functions, family, and friends, beins isolated and withdrawn.

Typical treatment include restoring adequate nutrition, bringing weight to a healthy level, reducing excessive exercise, and stopping binging and purging behaviors. Evidence also suggests that antidepressant medications may help for bulimia and also may be effective for treating co-occurring anxiety or depression for other eating disorders.

Our loved ones cannot be in a position to communicate effectively with us until that stabilization and maintenance have occurred. After that stabilization of eating patterns occurs, the real family work can develop. It is important to recognize that affected people needs patience from others as they continue to learn how to communicate their emotions in a healthy way.

Therapy is a fundamental piece of treatment because it affords an individual in recovery the opportunity to address and heal from traumatic life events and learn healthier coping skills and methods for expressing emotions, communicating and maintaining healthy relationships.

Researchers are finding that eating disorders are caused by a complex interaction of genetic, biological, psychological, and social factors. But many questions still need answers. Researchers are studying questions about behavior, genetics, and brain function to better understand risk factors, identify biological markers, and develop specific psychotherapies and medications that can target areas in the brain that control eating behavior. Brain imaging and genetic studies may provide clues for how each person may respond to specific treatments for these medical illnesses. Ongoing efforts also are aimed at developing and refining strategies for preventing and treating eating disorders among adolescents and adults.

In the treatment of eating disorders, the brain plays an interesting role. Often those with a disorder such as anorexia tend to experience rigidity and inflexibility in their thoughts and actions.The way they conduct their lives is often through a very black and white perspective. This is particularly evident in their perceptions of food and food consumption.

As ever said in the “Food Addiction” article, “the turn around through which people begin the healing process, starts when  they admit to get better by themselves, through the correct use of their willpower and determination, being imperative in this case, the help from family and friends.

Physical health is related to mental health because as a rule, good health and longevity are found among individuals who are calm, orderly and patient, who follow a regular pattern of life, who do not allow themselves to be overrun by the whirling of society, and who are not claimed simultaneously by a multiplicity of demands.

With the mass amount of misguided information about eating disorders, it is common for these serious illnesses to be misunderstood, oversimplified, or greatly generalized. The truth of the matter is that eating disorders are complex diseases caused by a multitude of factors. Men or women who struggle with an eating disorder have a serious mental illness with potentially life-threatening consequences.

In the rapid evolution of our society today, advances in technology have dictated the course of human interactions. The way we interface with one another is largely hinged on the capacities that have developed throughout the years. Face-to-face connections are often pushed aside for text messaging, emails, and the like.

For individuals struggling with an eating disorder spurred from pressures or dysfunctions in their family, this summer break readjustment is exacerbated. For most, home is a loving and safe environment. That’s the main reason, by which the healing power success on mental ilnesses’ treatment resides in good environment at home through a wholesome colaboration of family, thinking with elevated and healthy way, all knowing the power of good thoughts.

So, the cure happens, because people are the outcome of their thoughts, beliefs,  choices, and actions. We are what we think and the physical body reflects what is going inside. Doing so, people may exert their inner force and awake the healing power within.