Lesser-Known Facts About Eating Disorders and Treatment

Young girl with eating disorder

Today, approximately 24 million people in America have one form of eating disorder. Some of these people seek help in order to address the cause, which is usually multi-factorial.

A treatment center for eating disorders usually supports not only adults, but also children and adolescents with anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating problems.

Recovery is your choice

In many cases, a mental disorder is a complex coping mechanism for a difficult event in life. Disorders involving food is considered a mental illness. As such, a person who is currently receiving medical and psychological help for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa has the choice to end the problem.

Recovery may take time due to the deeply rooted behaviors and feelings, as well as the presence of stressors. Yet, the decision to pursue recovery makes a huge difference. It is important for those who are dealing with the problem to realize that it is a lifestyle choice, and they have complete power over their behaviors and thoughts about food and eating.

It is not about the weight

It may surprise many people, but a seemingly healthy person with a good figure may be a cyclical binge-eater. Some people may be overweight or have normal weight. The stereotype of underweight anorexics should be thrown out the door. Weight is not an indicator of health or illness in these cases.

Life-threatening illness

The mortality rates for anorexia and bulimia are quite high. Among known mental illnesses, these disorders have the highest mortality rate. Not all are diagnosed and some do not receive treatment. If there is no effective intervention, about 20% of persons with the illness will die. The incidence of suicide is a cause for concern, but that is not the only reason for the fatalities. There may be severe medical complications, including cardiac and gastrointestinal problems, as well as bone disease.

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Millions of people and their families are suffering from the effects of eating disorders. We must seek to understand more about it and the real impact of these mental illnesses in our society.