Eating disorders are very difficult long-term illnesses that are often misdiagnosed. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder are some of the most common eating disorders in the U.S and around the world. Anorexia is a person who refuses to maintain a normal body weight and is terrified of being fat and bulimia is known as binge eating then purging. Binge eating disorder is when one binge eats frequently and repeatedly, these people do not purge or abuse laxatives and are usually obese. There are many less well known eating disorders as well, such as anorexia athletica, night-eating syndrome and pica. Eating disorders are much more common in females than males. Only about 5 to 15 percent of males have anorexia or bulimia. People affect mainly by anorexia and bulimia are in their teens and twenties. Studies show both disorders have been diagnosed in children as young as six and individuals as old as seventy-six.
Warning signs of eating disorders stretch from food behaviors to image behaviors. One warning sign is when a person skips meals or only eats a small portion and always has an excuse not to eat. Some people will wear baggy cloths to hide their body fat and consciences about clothing sizes. Many will try to hide their feelings and have trouble talking about them. Denying anger by saying things such as "Everything is OK” or “I am just tired and stressed." They are easily to become moody and irritable plus responds to confrontation with tears or withdrawal. Many times one feels they do not fit in therefore isolates themselves in social situations. Eating disorders often come with other problems such as abuse in alcohol, prescription medication, recreational drugs and laxatives.
Recovery is possible and many people have recovered from their eating disorder. Although recovery is possible it is not an easy task, it can take a person 7 to 10 years or even longer to fully recover. People with eating disorders who have gotten treatment either recover completely or make significant progress is about 80%. Stopping starving and stuffing oneself is not all recovery is. Recovery is maintaining a normal weight and eating a variety of foods not just low carbs or diet foods. Women get their regular menstrual periods back. To recovery completely they need to have an understanding of the process of choices and consequences. The best treatment for an eating disorder depends on the person because many different factors go into the development of the disorder. To prevent death and suicide, hospitalization is best. Medication can help those who have depression and anxiety. Group, family or nutrition counseling can help change old patterns and help relieve hidden feelings. About 20% of people who do not seek professional help do not survive.
I have learned a great deal of information from this website about all different types of eating disorders, how to recognize the warning signs and the many ways to get treatment to recover. I realized how many people suffer from eating disorders no matter the gender or age. Recovery is a long process but is something that is important because having an eating disorder can cause death.