What is an Eating Disorder?
An eating disorder is a complex mental condition affecting healthy eating habits. People with this condition often have a distorted mental view of themselves (like they view themselves through a funny mirror in a funhouse). They are obsessed with how they eat and look physically. If untreated, this condition develops into serious health complications. The most well-known eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and binge-eating.
What are the symptoms of an Eating Disorder?
Common symptoms associated with eating disorders:
- Obsession with weight, shape, and size of body
- Extreme fear of being overweight
- Make excuses for not eating with family or friends
- Secretly eating
- Extreme feelings of shame or embarrassment about eating habits
- Often running to the restroom after meals
- Eating till uncomfortable
- Feeling out of control when eating like with binging
What are the causes or risk factors for an Eating Disorder?
Many factors come into play when assessing risk. Risk factors may include:
- Family medical history
- Genetic history
- Other mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder)
- Environmental conditions like a family life
- Gender (women seem to be affected more, or they report it more)
- Occupations like dancing, jockey, and gymnastics
How is an Eating Disorder Diagnosed?
Diagnosis of an eating disorder includes:
- A medical professional performing a physical examination to rule out any medical reasons
- A psychologist conducting a psychological evaluation
- And other tests depending on the nature of the eating disorder
What is the treatment?
Since many factors could be at play, the best approach for an eating disorder is a holistic one. Medications like anti-depressants may be helpful, especially when it comes to balancing brain chemistry. Counseling focused on cognitive behavior can help people develop a healthier view of themselves. There are several options out there for treating these disorders. Having support from family and community provides a solid foundation for healing.
Prognosis and Outlook
Full recovery is definitely possible, and we have a program specifically designed for just that. We treat eating disorders through support, understanding, and community. Find out more about our amazing integrative program called the MindFULL Program. This is a multifaceted program backed by well-thought-out, practical research providing much-needed support making recovery a reality, contact us today. Resources: