An eating disorder is when a person possesses dangerously unhealthy eating behaviors, which puts their health and safety at risk in the short and long-term.
When a person has an eating disorder, they have un unrealistic and incorrect view of their weight, looks, and health. Their perspective affects both the mind and body in life-threatening ways.
Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are two of the most frequently discussed eating disorders. However, there are many more types of eating disorders, which all having serious consequences.
Eating Disorder Distortion
Many hide their disorder from others for long periods of time. Sufferers of eating disorders live with persistently distorted thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of themselves. Through these delusions, they harm themselves in ways that involve food or the complete absence of food.
If continued over the long-term, eating disorders can causes severe illness and death. People living with eating disorders may become so underweight that it can lead to fatal outcomes. The American Journal of Psychiatry states that eating disorder deaths connected to anorexia nervosa account for the highest number of deaths out of all mental illnesses.
Treatment Programs and Tools
The root causes of eating disorders vary with each individual. Whether it is unacknowledged trauma, societal conditioning, or genetics, the only way to figure out the root cause is to find help with a private medical practitioner or at an in-patient care center that specializes in eating disorders. There are outpatient and in-patient programs available nationwide.
In treatment, you will work on healing issues occurring internally. Whether it’s body dysmorphia, depression, or trauma, people suffering from eating disorders can find peace, improve their health, and learn tools to help them cope with their eating disorder in the future.
Certified treatment centers offer a wide variety of programs to help people combat their eating disorder from every side. Nutritional consultations, regular group and individual therapy, healthy fitness routines, pharmacological assisted therapy, and plans for recovery are some of the standard elements that make up treatment programs.
Tools for managing your eating disorder on your own are needed when you leave the heavily supportive environment of treatment.
One of the best tools for recovery are to eradicate the pattern of shame and hiding that often characterizes eating disorders existence. Talk openly with trusted individuals about your eating disorder if they inquire. Keeping a daily journal about eating patterns, thoughts, and struggles will also provide continued healing.
Sharing your story in group therapy, an online blog, or as a mental health advocate can help you successfully recover from an eating disorder over time.
Continued Healing from Toxic Culture
While you now have some tools that can help you during recovery, there are outside stressors and triggers that may interrupt your progress.
For instance, today’s societal norms about one’s appearance can be incredibly toxic. Those who do not fit within certain expectations of size and beauty are often inadvertently shamed or left with growing insecurity. All bodies are strong, powerful, and unique. No one should ever feel less than complete, even though many do every day.
The healthiest thing a person can do, especially if they are still healing from an eating disorder is to make radical changes. Continue individual therapy and support group attendance. Find strength in support from other people living in recovery. Realize that you can no longer accept the popular and toxic messages from society about what beauty is. Accept all parts of yourself.
This may be easier said than done, but it is not impossible. The process may be easier by limiting your information intake from the Internet and television. Block your access to news sites, alerts, and deactivate social media accounts until you feel you can handle that influx of information. During your continuous healing process, it is best to avoid news and social media outlets that do not improve your well-being.
Live above our appearance centered world. Celebrate the diversity of all bodies through your own self-acceptance and self-love. There is nothing stopping you. You can regain control of your life today.