Types and Treatments of Eating Disorders

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When people hear the word eating disorder they tend to think of a young middle class white girl. It’s quite rare to hear about older men and women struggling with eating disorders even though it’s fairly common. Unfortunately, eating disorders do not discriminate against race, age, gender, class, or sexual orientation. The only thing that differs is their overall experience and how health professionals chose to treat them. There are three major eating disorders that some people suffer with on a daily basis. The first is anorexia nervosa which is a potential life threatening disorder that affects about 1.1 million women and 340,000 men over the age of eighteen. It is characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight, self starvation, and excessive weight loss. Anorexia afflicts all individuals and has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. The warning signs include dramatic weight loss, denial of hunger, immoderate exercise and low self esteem. It’s very common for people with anorexia to do frequent body evaluations to gain information on their size and shape. Also, health is a big concern because it can lead to heart failure, muscle loss, and weakness. Secondly, there is bulimia nervosa which is more common in the United States. It affects about 1.8 million women and 570,000 men. It consists of binging and purging which occurs about twice a week. Binge eaters consume an excessive amount of food in a short amount of time because they experience a loss of control. Purging could be done by taking laxatives to speed up the movement of food or more often throwing up. The warning signs include unusual swelling around the jaw, discoloration of the teeth, and frequent trips to a bathroom after every meal. The binge and... ... middle of paper ... ...therapy is usually the treatment of choice for bulimia especially CBT. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been effective in reducing or eliminating binge eating and purging in around two thirds of patients. Now binge eating disorders however hardly ever require inpatient hospitalization. The vast amount of care for BED occurs in inpatient setting. Self help and group psychotherapy are also a very common approach. As for medications, they are rarely used. Anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorders all have negative effects on certain aspects of life. They can ruin relationships leading to divorce, tear families apart, have a negative impact on work and most importantly destroy general health. Overall, eating disorders need to be taken seriously because a person can develop one without the intention of doing so. And then after it can become a challenge to overcome it!
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