The number of people affected with eating disorders from reported cases is well over six million. But due to the lack of people willing to seek treatment the number of cases is much higher. Treatments prescribed will vary depending on the type of eating disorder.
Problems in seeking treatment for eating disorders
The primary problem in obtaining treatment falls with the affected person acknowledging they have an eating disorder. Once they come to accept that they have an eating disorder, a health care provider can prescribe treatments to help them overcome the disease. Eating disorders mimic similar characteristics as alcoholism and denial of having a problem can prolong the illness.
A biggest part of treatment is support groups. These groups consist of people that have similar eating disorders. People in these groups are able to relate to one another and the problems faced when trying to overcome the disorder. It is easier for an individual to have support from peers that are also affected. Family and friends can also help provide support to an affected person, but should have an open mind when dealing with the affected person and not be judgmental.
Psychologists and psychiatrists can help provide treatment for people with eating disorders. Since some of the underlying causes can be related to self-esteem, the failure to accept emotions and stress, therapists can listen and help the individual to overcome these mental hang-ups. For affected individuals that feel depressed, medications are often prescribed as part of the treatment.
A big part of dealing with eating disorders is learning how to eat healthy and develop proper eating habits. Nutritionists can help affected people to develop a diet that is healthy and work on getting the individual to eat on a regular basis. Depending on the eating disorder an affected person may have to learn to increase their daily intake of food, or reduce it to correct portions.
The use of all of these treatment methods can help to overcome eating disorders. Without treating both nutritional needs and mental health needs, there is a more likely chance that the person will have a relapse.
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