Eating disorders and food issues are common ailments found mainly in young men and women. Eating disorders can plague anyone, and without proper treatment, the victim usually cannot heal on their own. Eating disorders can range from anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, extreme dieting, under-eating, food obsessions, and many other forms of issues with food. Victims usually have an underlying cause which creates the eating disorder. They try to seek control and stability over one thing that they can monitor which is their food and eating habits. Eating disorders as well as food issues can be extremely damaging to a person’s health. The behavioral aspects that are created and learned during an eating disorder’s life are highly addictive and hard to remove without professional guidance.
People suffering from eating disorders usually display specific symptoms. The most obvious of the symptoms would be weight loss that involves a large amount of weight in a short amount of time. Other symptoms include sleeplessness, total removal of specific food groups from a person’s diet, mood swings, decreased energy levels, and constant thoughts or obsessiveness over food, as well as avoidance of food.
Individuals suffering from an eating disorder are usually dealing with other factors as well. Eating disorders stem from low self-esteem, poor body image, trauma, anxiety, family issues and poor mental health. Unhealthy relationships with food are created because the individual is struggling with an underlying issue. Their viewpoint of their self-image becomes skewed as they try to deal with difficult situations by controlling their food intake. These types of situations are difficult to overcome alone, and professional guidance is needed to help the person heal properly.
Eating disorders take time and effort to overcome. Professional guidance by a counselor or psychotherapist is needed to teach the victim to identify the underlying causes as well as learn proper coping mechanisms. Repetitive treatment is needed for individuals to break from their leaned and dangerous behavioral cycle and to establish a healthy, new relationship with food. Many treatments take at least a few months, with more of the severe cases taking a few years to overcome. Some victims may be placed in a residential treatment center where they live on-site as they continue to seek assistance for their disorder. Other forms of treatment such as equine-therapy, art therapy, and yoga, meditation, and self-help programs may all be incorporated into the program to assist the individual with his or her specific needs and issues.
Societal causes, genetics, psychological issues, trauma, or problematic family relationships all contribute to the rise of an eating disorder. Counseling and professional assistance can help identify the causes and will help the individual though the recovery process. A counselor can help manage and eventually eliminate the symptoms and behaviors of an eating disorder which puts the victim on the path to recovery with fewer chances of relapse. There is no quick or simple cure for eating disorders, but professional therapists can help the victim establish a healthy mentality and relationship with not only food, but themselves as well.