Friday, August 15, 2014

The Importance Of Eating Disorder Help

By Tanisha Berg

Eating disorders are not really about weight or food. They are related to emotional issues. A person suffering in this way uses food to deal with their emotions. Restricting food intake helps them to feel in control. Overeating temporarily offers comfort and assuages pain and loneliness. Purging combats self-hate and helplessness. These illnesses can last for many years, having a debilitating effect on the sufferers and their families. According to research, seeking eating disorder help as soon as possible offers sufferers a better chance of recovery.

It is not always easy to determine if an individual has a problem like this from their outward appearance, unless it has progressed beyond a certain stage. Sufferers make every attempt to conceal their behavior as they often feel ashamed of what they are doing. However, there are certain warning signs that one can look out for. Anorexics will make every excuse not to eat such as that they have already had a large meal or that they have a stomach ache. When they do eat, they usually consume very small portions.

Finding piles of empty wrappers or hidden stashes of junk food may be warning signs of bulimia. If a person is always going to the bathroom directly after meals they may be throwing up. Frantic exercising and use of diuretics or laxatives are other warning signs.

Treatment is needed for these disorders before devastating, irreparable damage is caused both physically and emotionally. It is not easy to address the problem, particularly as sufferers are often defensive. They will often deny that they have a problem.

However, if there is any possibility that a problem exists, it must be addressed and the way in which this is done is very important. Concerns should be voiced in a firm but non-confrontational manner. An adolescent who cannot open up to a parent, might find it easier to speak to a school counselor or a religious leader. If there is an acknowledgement of a problem, the next step is to help the sufferer to get the right assistance. A doctor will be able to give a diagnosis and assess whether any medical complications exist.

Many sufferers are treated on an outpatient basis. They can live at home and still attend school. They usually receive a combination of treatment from various health professionals. A dietician will give nutritional advice, develop a specific eating regime and keep a close eye on body weight. Underlying emotional issues are addressed with therapy. A support group lead by a peer offers a place where experiences and coping strategies can be shared.

In an outpatient setting, patients remain with their families and continue to attend school or work. Inpatient care may be needed when the disorder becomes worse despite outpatient treatment. If the person has already reached the point where he or she is severely undernourished with resulting medical problems, hospitalization is necessary.

Sufferers do not recover quickly from such disorders. Recovery requires far more than just achieving a healthy weight. New ways of thinking and patterns of behavior have to be established and this takes time. Loved ones have to realize this and rejoice with every small step taken to recovery rather than putting pressure on the sufferer.

About the Author:

No comments:

Post a Comment