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How do you know if you have an eating disorder? How widespread is the problem?

How do you know if you have an eating disorder?

• Conditions that involve abnormal eating habits like either eating insufficient or excessive quantities of food are referred to as eating disorders.
• Eating disorders are detrimental to both the physical and mental health of an individual.
• The most common eating disorders are Anorexia and Bulimia.
• Eating disorders are not really age or gender specific.
• This can affect men, women and even children.
• Eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia can cause drastic fluctuations in body weight.
• It can damage important functions in the body.
• People suffering from anorexia are under the constant fear of gaining weight.
• People who suffer from bulimia resort to purging and binge eating.

Symptoms for Eating Disorders

• particular physical signs
• abnormal behavioral changes
• very emaciated, frail or thin
• obsession with weight control
• eating habits
• erratic behavior
• signs of depression and lethargy

How widespread is the problem?

• There’s no doubt that eating disorders are on the rise.
• Beat currently provides rather higher estimates than those of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
• Beat believes that 1.15 million people in this country have a significant problem.
• This is between 60,000 and 90,000 of those are having treatment.
• The scale of the problem is such that every GP is likely to have one or two anorexics among his or her patients.
• It is estimated that he might have no less than 18 bulimics as his patient.
• Most GPs don’t identify all these people as having eating disorders because of the secret nature of these conditions.
• Apart from anorexia and bulimia, there’s also ‘binge eating’.
• Compulsive or binge-eating is also classed as an eating disorder.
• Compulsive eaters, who are sometimes extremely overweight, do visit their doctors.
• They are likely to be given a diet sheet rather than offered any kind of counseling.
• This might get to the root of the problem.

Does counselling help eating disorders?

• In fact during the last few years, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) has been shown to be useful.
• This is especially true in the treatment of bulimia nervosa and overeating.
• In CBT, the person with the eating disorder is helped to address the issue behaviorally.
• He or she is asked to eat regularly and not to ban any foods and so on.
• There’s much emphasis on addressing the thoughts that persuade us to eat.

Remedies for Eating Disorders

• Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
• Family therapy
• Interpersonal psychotherapy
• Recreation
• Art or music therapy
• Nutritional counseling
• Psychoanalysis
• Medications
• Helping a person change the way she looks at herself.
• Parents should help their children feel good about their body.
• Help them increase their self esteem.
• Healthy eating habits and regular exercising should also be encouraged in the family.
• Fad diets, fasting, starvation and use of diet pills should be strictly discouraged.
• Eat a variety of spicy foods such as chilies, peppers, jalapenos and spicy curries and sauces as they can help in controlling an over active appetite.
• It is always healthier to eat low fat and low carbohydrate foods.
• Eating licorice when you feel like snacking helps avoid imbalances.
• When one feels like snacking, then it is also a good idea to eat a mint, brush your teeth or rinse with a mouthwash.

Goodbye Ed, Hello Me 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder Life Without Ed

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