What is Anorexia?
Anorexia nervosa is a medical condition associated with the inability to maintain the correct and proportionate body weight. This disorder can affect people of all ages, color, and gender. Anorexia is a critical and potentially life-threatening eating disorder prompting a person to keep their body weight low, therefore, avoiding certain kinds of food or initiating vomiting after eating. It stems from a distorted belief that being thin improves the public’s perception of themselves thus pursuing it at all costs to feel socially acceptable.
This condition mostly affects women and girls, although it is also rampant in teenage boys and can potentially disrupt an individual’s schooling, career, and relationships with family and friends. A combination of biological, environmental, and genetic factors, people affected by this eating disorder may be in denial hence unable or unwilling to seek help. Treatment for Anorexia is very important as there are many dangers associated with having a low Body Mass Index (BMI).
Anorexic patients often exhibit a lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem which may cause depression and addictive behaviors in pursuit of recognition and acceptance. Some anorexics tend to vomit after eating regular meals or engage in binge eating followed by purging. Treatment of anorexia involves psychological approaches to restore the right mental attitude towards food and weight gain. Furthermore, Anorexics also often suffer from low levels of serotonin, one of the brain chemicals involved in depression
Anorexia nervosa should be viewed as a serious eating disorder and accordingly getting professional treatment should be considered an utmost priority. If left untreated for long, it can be accompanied by co-occurring psychiatric and addictive disorders. Exhibiting symptoms similar to bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders, anorexia, if left untreated for long, can result in irrevocable health issues, and can even lead to death. However, there are various psychological treatments that have been effective in overcoming anorexia.
Firstly, it is important to understand that seeking treatment for anorexia can take some time so being patient is extremely essential not only for the patient but also for her family. The good news is that a combination of counseling and other types of therapy, a full recovery is very much possible. If there’s an early diagnosis followed up with prompt treatment, the chances of achieving a favorable outcome increase manifold. Additionally, furnishing a full medical history can also help with diagnosis.
Firstly, it’s imperative to attend to any other health issue caused by anorexia even as the patient gets treated and counseled on adopting proper eating habits. To achieve success in addressing anorexia a team of specialists will work together to ensure effective results. These medics include a general physician to tackle any health problem resulting from the malnutrition, a psychiatrist to administer therapies to correct the patient’s mindset and a nutritionist to guide on the perfect diet to restore a healthy body.
Family too is an important pillar in the treatment of anorexia to ensure the treatment is long-term while avoiding any chances of relapse. It helps the individual with the right support and encourages behavioral change for a quick recovery. Severe cases of anorexia may mandate inpatient care, administration of antidepressants and may also include getting blood tests, imaging scans, and an electrocardiogram (ECG). The most important thing during the entire process is to ensure one is kind and respectful towards the patient rather than being judgmental. With the right treatment, support, and mentoring programs, a full recovery is very much possible.