Eating disorders are more complex than just a dietary issue. They stem from an individual's self-critical feelings about body image and weight. The longer an eating disorder remains undiagnosed, the harder it is to overcome it. Making an appointment to see a physician should always be the first step for anyone seeking eating disorder help. A physician can diagnose an eating disorder and also check for other medical conditions that it may be causing.
Eating disorders are extreme disturbances in an individual's eating habits. The three most common eating disorders are bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating. Choosing the appropriate method for eating disorder help is dependent upon the symptoms you have and the severity of the disorder.
Once you have been seen by a physician, you can be directed on the best path toward getting help. The goal of any type of treatment is to teach you to have a healthy relationship with food and for you to learn other methods for coping with the daily challenges of life. Generally, eating disorder help is a combination of group support and food counseling.
Psychotherapy sessions on an individual and family basis are a good way to find what is causing the eating disorder. You can learn how to improve your self-esteem, and family members will learn how to help with the process. Support groups are another part of the eating disorder help process. Talking to other individuals who are going through the same thing can help you to realize that you are not alone, and to learn new coping methods for stressful situations.
Nutrition counseling is another important part of eating disorder help. You will learn about the consequences of unhealthy eating habits and the importance of a balanced diet. A nutrition counselor can help an you to set healthy eating goals and how to achieve them.
Residential and hospital-based treatment may be necessary steps in eating disorder help for individuals who have not responded to previous treatment and continue to lose weight. Being severely malnourished or having medical complications are other reasons why this may be necessary. Some individuals do not respond to other treatment options and may become depressed or even suicidal. This is another reason hospitalization may be required.
Since eating disorders do not happen overnight, there are no quick fixes. Patience is key in eating disorder help. Following the program designed by a physician will help most people to overcome an eating disorder and lead a full and healthy life.