An eating disorder is a psychological condition. The eating behavior of anorexia nervosa and bulimia are the most common and involve excessive or not enough food intake. Whether a person eats too much or avoids eating, the result is negative effects to one’s physical body, but also to their mental health. In any case eating disorder treatment should be sought.
Reportedly 5% to 7% of females suffer from anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa at some point in their lives. Most females that suffer from anorexia nervosa do so between the ages of eleven and twenty. Females are ten times more likely to suffer from this eating disorder than males. Many of these eating behaviors are not found by an individual originally seeking out eating behavior treatment, but by them seeking medical or mental health treatment.
A distorted body image is the cause of anorexia nervosa. Even when the individual is already very thin, they see themselves as being too fat. An individual may refrain from eating for extended periods of time. If they do not correct the problem and seek out eating behavior treatment, they can eventually die. Many do not know that there is a difference between anorexia and anorexia nervosa. Anorexia is a disinterest in food or lack of appetite; whereas anorexia nervosa involves severely restricting food intake, or binging on food then purging.
Bulimia nervosa is a cycle or pattern of binge eating, followed by guilt and then crash dieting. Often these individuals also exercise too much or purge in order to make up for their excessive food intake. Bulimia nervosa most commonly occurs between adolescence and early adulthood. 90% of bulimics are women, but fortunately there is an eating behavior treatment success rate of 70%.
Causes of eating behavior vary greatly per individual. Some are perfectionist and feel that the only thing that can absolutely control in their lives is their weight. Environmental causes include media influence and influence of family and friends. Biological causes of eating disorders include obsessive compulsive disorder and depression, which can cause levels of important body elements to be deficient. Trauma and developmental etiology can also be basis for eating disorders. Diagnosis of eating disorders is usually made after specific questioning about eating habits, as well as weight patterns. Intense eating disorder treatment then is prescribed.
Eating behavior treatment should begin with understanding that an individual does not have to be underweight to have an eating disorder. Men do suffer from eating disorders and those with eating disorders are not vain individuals. An eating disorder can be a life threatening condition. After getting gaining some understanding of eating disorders the individual suffering needs the support and encourage to seek eating disorder treatment. The individual should seek first the services of their family physician that will diagnose the condition accurately and outline any medical problems accompanying it. Problems such as depression, anxiety or substance abuse can be some of the areas needing treatment. The physician may then recommend such eating disorder treatment as nutritional counseling, psychotherapy, residential treatment or support groups.
An eating disorder is a psychological condition and the severity can vary, but what is certain about every individual suffering from eating disorders is that they need to seek immediate eating disorder treatment before it is too late.