Grand Rapids – Eating Disorders
Treatment for Eating Disorders in Adults
What is an Eating Disorder?
We all know someone who has gone on a diet before, in an attempt to transform their body or health in some way. While going on a diet and having an Eating Disorder both relate to food intake and changes in health and body, there is a significant difference between the two. Dieting is when someone temporarily alters their food consumption to develop a healthier lifestyle. An Eating Disorder is when someone consistently alters their food consumption to the point that it impairs their health or functioning. The key differences here are the time frame that the change in food consumption lasts and the type of effect the change in food consumption has on the individual. Eating Disorders effect the body physically, mentally, and emotionally and can become very destructive if they are not identified and treated appropriately and in a timely manner.
Types of Eating Disorders
There are several types of Eating Disorders that an individual may suffer from. Below are some of the most common Eating Disorders for adults and a brief description of what each Eating Disorder entails.
· Binge-Eating Disorder: This disorder is seen when an individual engages in binge-eating which involves eating more than an average person would eat in a discrete amount of time and not having control over what he/she eats during that time.
· Bulimia Nervosa: Individual suffering from Bulimia Nervosa engage in binge-eating at least once a week for three months. In addition to binge-eating, these individuals engage in behaviors such as vomiting, fasting, or excessive exercise to prevent gaining weight. These behaviors are driven by a disproportionate self-evaluation of their own body.
· Anorexia Nervosa: This disorder occurs when an individual restricts their food consumption leading to significantly low body weight. Those suffering from this disorder also have a fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though their weight is below average, causing them to engage in behaviors that prevent weight gain.
Treatment for Eating Disorders
Eating Disorders are extremely serious and complex diseases that can become both life long and life threatening, making it imperative that those suffering seek out professional help. The first step towards recovery is one of the hardest steps for people to make. If you are suffering yourself, this means admitting to yourself that you need help. If you know someone who is suffering from an eating disorder, the first step is communicating your concern with them in a supportive and loving way. Whether you are suffering yourself or know someone who is suffering, communication is important to begin the healing process and throughout the journey to recovery. Once the first step has been taken and the individual is ready to seek treatment, professionals at each of our locations can offer a supportive and effective treatment for Eating Disorders. Generally, with Eating Disorders, weight gain is the first priority to ensure that the individual is not at severe risk. However, psychotherapy is also extremely important to help the individual modify their dysfunctional beliefs about their body, learn to look at themselves in a more positive way, and develop a strategy that prevents them from relapsing. Recovery from an Eating Disorder is an enduring, difficult journey but possible with the right support system and treatment.