An eating disorder is a mental illness that often includes stark physical manifestations. For instance, those suffering with anorexia tend to become emaciated and bone-thin; whereas bulimics can actually maintain or even gain weight. This is largely due to the binge eating habits of bulimics, which usually involves a massive caloric intake that is then purged.
Purging food via self-induced vomiting or consumption of laxatives is a symptom shared by both the bulimic and anorexic. There are other similarities in symptoms between the two diseases, including exercising excessively and a distorted body image. However, the fear of weight gain causes anorexics to severely limit their food intake as opposed to the bulimic habit of purging after binging large amounts of food.
Help for Eating Disorders
The longer one waits to be treated for eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, the greater the chances that permanent or fatal damage to the body will occur. Eating disorders studies reveal that muscle loss, bone deterioration and the weakening of just about every organ in the body will become increasingly significant as these diseases continue to run their course.
Therefore, it is imperative that bulimia treatment, anorexia treatment and treatment of other types of eating disorders be started as soon as these conditions are verified. Eating disorder clinics and eating disorder treatment centers around the country have experienced mental health professionals on staff who are better equipped than ever before to administer to those suffering from eating disorder-related illnesses.
Eating disorder treatment often encompasses various types of psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy and might also include family therapy sessions. Nutritional counseling and a focus on weight restoration are also part of a comprehensive eating disorder treatment program that can eventually give those affected the tools to move forward and live fulfilling lives.