Eating disorder is one of the deadliest diseases in today’s world. A large number of people die annually due to eating disorders . This disease can ruin a person’s health and have negative effect on one’s relationships and personal life. A person suffering from eating disorders will have extreme eating behaviors. He/she will follow strict diets; throw up after meals, obsessively count calories before and after each meal, and will eat large quantities of food. Patients of such a disease will have the wrong attitude towards body weight and will have a distorted self image. Medical problems which arise from this disorder are obesity, depression, diabetes, heart diseases, high cholesterol, kidney diseases, hyper tension, arthritis, bone deterioration and stroke.
People most affected from this disease are girls aged 15 – 24. Peer pressure is the most during this age and they are not able to handle the pressure of looking good. Glamour and fashion world, which promotes being thin, is not helping either. These patients suffer from low self esteem and a huge inferiority complex.
Eating disorders include overeating, compulsive eating, bulimia and Anorexia. Anorexia is an eating disorder which is characterized by rapid weight loss. This is caused due to obsession with body weight and size. Women having this disease have the desire to become really thin. There comes a point when they become so thin that there life is in danger. This disorder again is caused by very low self esteem. Physical symptoms of anorexia include substantial weight loss, loss of menses, poor blood circulation and easily being bruised, dry skin and chapped lips, thinning hair, substantial decrease in energy levels and interruption in normal body growth. Treatment for anorexia includes extensive assessing and screening for mental and physical issues. As soon as the problems are assessed appropriate medical care is provided to the patient. Treatment for anorexia will also include one on one therapies, nutritional education, body image workshops, group therapies, etc.
Eating disorder is a very complex disease and it requires expert professional help. The first step however will be acknowledgement of this disease by the patient, and reaching out to family and friends for help. Family and loved ones can further help these patients by understanding them, and taking professional help in curing this disease.
Institutions working towards curing eating disorders have expert counselors, psychiatrics and physicians who have been working in this field for a long time and thus have valuable experience which helps these patients immensely. The treatments include programs which have recreational therapy, spiritual therapy, body image lectures and workshops, depression and stress management, nutritional education, behavioral therapy, psychiatric counseling and group therapies.