Overcoming any sort of disorder is hard. The road to recovery can be a long, challenging and nerve-wracking one. An eating disorder may sound easy-to-overcome, but it is far from that. It is equally severe and takes substantial time, effort and care to beat. Eating disorders, as a matter of fact, can be very serious and even fatal in nature. They can cause severe disturbances within the body’s functioning.
The occurrence of an eating disorder is not restricted to any particular age. They can appear at any stage and at any time. According to statistics, 30 million people of all ages and groups suffer from eating disorders in the United States alone. However, the most common ages of developing an eating disorder are teen years and young adulthood. The eating disorder has been accepted as a medical illness and there are effectual treatments available to address certain types of eating disorders.
This piece addresses the recovery process of eating disorders. However, before we dig into the recovery process and options, it is important that we first define exactly what an eating disorder is and what its common types are.
What is an Eating Disorder?
An eating disorder is deemed as a mental health problem that is associated with abnormal eating behavior or habits that resultantly affect the physical and mental health of the person. Eating disorders usually include binge eating, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, pica, and rumination disorder.
Binge eating leads a person to engage in an eating pattern where they consume a large amount of food in a short period of time.
Anorexia nervosa compels a person to eat very little and lose a tremendous amount of weight.
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder in which the person consumes a large amount of food in a short period of time and then purges to rid themselves of the consumed food.
Pica is the fourth form of eating disorder. The victims of pica indulge in the habit of eating non-food items. This includes eating ice, paper, hair, paint and other such non-nutritive items.
Rumination disorder is essentially a chronic motility disorder that entails indigestion of food. Patients of rumination disorder often regurgitate consumed food involuntarily.
There is no particular cause identified for eating disorders. They can occur due to environmental factors, biological reasons, or cultural idealization. Psychological abnormalities may also contribute to these disorders. Some of the attributes that are found contributing to eating disorders include:
- Abnormal hormonal functioning
- Nutritional deficiencies
- The negative image of body figure
- Lack of self-esteem
- The dysfunctional dynamic of the family
- Working in a field that requires a certain body figure or promotes weight loss (dancing and modeling)
- Family and childhood traumas
- Sexual abuse
- Cultural pressure
While these are some common factors which promote eating disorders, most people do not realize that they have an eating disorder unless a medical practitioner diagnoses it. Here are some symptoms that indicate the presence of eating disorders:
- Practicing dieting despite being normal or underweight
- Persistent fluctuations in weight
- Obsession with calories
- Being too conscious about the way you eat food
- Constantly improvising recipes and cooking patterns
- Suffering from depression
- Cutting back from social engagements and events
- Prefer isolation and social withdrawal
If these symptoms are evident and you have suffered or are suffering from any of the mentioned causes of an eating disorder, you must get in touch with your physician right away and have your condition addressed. You may have an eating disorder that you are not aware of.
Treating and Recovering from an Eating Disorder
Eating disorders can be severe and complex, making them difficult to treat. However, they can be effectively addressed and controlled through professional treatment. Treating eating disorders involves restoring health and ensuring individual wellbeing by focusing on the patient’s need and preferences. There are four main steps that patients of eating disorders need to undergo in order to recover from their illness:
Step One: Medical Care and Monitoring
To address any health concerns, the first step is to identify what the problem is, the level of its severity, and the nature of the condition. Monitoring helps in identifying a particular sequence of behavior, which is imperative in determining the type of disorder. Once the type is identified, the subsequent intervention is planned.
Step Two: Nutrition Planning
Nutrition entails the restoration and stabilization of body weight. Eating disorders often lead a person to lose so much weight that they become underweight, or gain so much body fat that they turn obese. Nutrition is the second part of the recovery process in which the diet plan of the patient is modified and is designed to suit the body’s requirements. They are offered individualized meal plans and are kept under monitoring to ensure that a positive change is progressing.
Step Three: Therapy
There are various forms of therapy available to treat an eating disorder. Considering that it is a mental disorder, it requires psychological-based therapies which can help individuals change their approach towards their eating pattern. The therapies can be individual, family or group-based, depending on the need of the patient’s condition. These therapies are helpful in identifying the underlying causes of eating disorders and developing an intervention that is best-suited for the healing process.
Step Four: Medications
Medications are the fourth and final step of eating disorder treatment that helps the patient get over their compulsion towards binge eating or changing their approach towards purging behaviors. They are helpful in resolving conditions such as anxiety and mood swings which often compel a person to engage in abnormal eating behavior.
These steps help a person recover from their abnormal eating habit, but they need to adhere strictly to the new habits and behavior so that they do not relapse. Getting the right medical and rehab support is highly crucial in determining the speed and effectiveness of recovery.
Scottsdale Recovery Center offers a highly proficient program for patients of eating disorders. We can help you overcome your abnormal eating behaviors by offering you the best possible professional service and support. We believe a timely diagnosis and efficient rehab support can make recovery process for any and all disorders easy and effective. So, contact us today to know more about what services we offer and how you can benefit from them.
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.