- Disorders & Issues
Introduction To Eating Disorders
Michael W. Adamowicz, LICSW
Although many of us would benefit from eating a bit less and exercising more in order improve our health and fitness, simply watching what you eat is NOT an eating disorder. Eating Disorders are potentially life-threatening illnesses which are simultaneously psychological and physical in nature. They are characterized by a range of abnormal and harmful eating behaviors which are accompanied and motivated by unhealthy beliefs, perceptions and expectations concerning eating, weight, and body shape. As a general characterization, individuals with eating disorders tend to have difficulty accepting and feeling good about themselves. They tend to think of themselves as “fat” and “ugly” because of their body size and shape, even when this self-judgment is objectively inaccurate and false. Identifying and defining themselves according to their perceived “fatness”, eating disordered people tend to conclude that they are unacceptable and undesirable, and as a result, feel quite insecure and inadequate, especially about their bodies. For them, controlling their eating behaviors is the logical pathway in their quest for thinness.
The current article is designed to provide you with more information about the nature of eating disorders, their causes, potential treatments, and strategies for prevention. This information can be helpful in determining whether you or someone you love has an eating disorder. Before we begin, though, we want to stress two important points:
First, if you (or someone you love) have an eating disorder, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Between 5 and 10 million Americans have anorexia or bulimia and another 25 million suffer with binge eating disorder. Hopefully, knowing that other people have experienced what you are going through, and have gotten better with treatment, will provide you with some sense of hope.
Second, don’t rely on your “willpower” to get over this condition. As mentioned previously, an eating disorder is a serious, potentially life-threatening disease. Between 6% and 20% of eating disordered individuals will literally die as a result of their disease. Seek PROFESSIONAL help for yourself or someone you love as soon as possible if you suspect there is a problem.
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Dying To Be Thin: 7 Shocking Facts About Teen Laxative Abuse
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Anorexia Impacts The Whole Family
The Eating Disorder Called Obesity
A Look At Faith And Spirituality In Mental Health: An Interview With Jena Morrow
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A Major Crisis, Eating Disorders And Children
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Binge Eating Is The Most Common Eating Disorder
Eating Disorders Articles Have Been Updated
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Eating Disorders, Self Mutilation And Unexpressed Emotions: A Deadly Relationship
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Heavier Bulemics Have An Easier Time Staying In Therapy.
ADHD Drug Might Help Treat Binge-Eating Disorder, Study Suggests
For Anorexic Men, the Focus Is on Muscle
Health Tip: Eating Disorder Can Hurt Your Child
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- National Association Of Anorexia Nervosa
- Eating Disorders
- Body Dysmorphic Disorder
- Bulimia Nervosa
- Maudsley Family Therapy
- Karen Carpenter
4 Pages 903 Words
Anorexia Nervosa is one of the most commonly known and yet least recognized eating disorders. Anorexia is a mental illness, which affects both boys and girls within normal weight ranges who think they are overweight. The early stages of Anorexia are often difficult to detect. A person should know what to look for as far as early symptoms and know what steps to take to help, but the most important thing would be to try to figure out what underlying problems could be responsible for the condition.
Anorexia begins with feelings of self-confidence and higher self esteem as the result of a more “attractive” appearance making the person feel as if they are more capable of handling social interaction (Anorexia, Dying to Be Thin p.1-13). As the anorexia progresses, his/her preoccupation with staying thin, which he or she believes gave his/her feelings of success, caused his/her to concentrate even more on his/her weight (Anorexia, Dying to Be Thin p.1-13). Eventually, the anorexic’s body will start to deteriorate, his/her self-esteem will diminish, and he or she will begin to remove themselves from social interaction (Anorexia, Dying to Be Thin p.1-13). Communication with his/her family or friends will also be reduced or strained (Anorexia, Dying to Be Thin p.1-13).
In the beginning stages a person could notice that the anorexic is exercising excessively or prone to hyperactivity. (Anorexia, Dying to Be Thin p.1-13). The anorexic will display unusual eating behaviors, and constantly express the fear of gaining weight, even though they do not. Anorexics are often high achievers. He or she will be one of the teacher’s favorites, because they never cause any trouble and think their best is never good enough (Anorexia, Dying to Be Thin p.1-13). Additionally, they never talk back to their parents, and never fuss (Anorexia, Dying to Be Thin p.1-13). If the anorexic fails, she fears that people won’t have anything to do with her. Anorexics se…
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