Understanding and Coping with an Eating Disorder

An eating disorder can be a physical and psychological condition that can lead to serious health problems if not properly combated. Maybe we know someone that we suspect could have an eating disorder but aren’t quite sure what to do in order to help them. Well, take heart in knowing that there are many treatment options for eating disorders that can be sought out, but the first thing to do is understand exactly what an eating disorder is and what some of the warning signs are.

Different Types of Eating Disorders

There are actually three types of eating disorders, but these usually begin due to an individual having a difficult time dealing with emotional issues in their life. This leads to the individual having lower self-esteem and starting to have obsessed over their body image. Although sometimes the eating disorder will lead to a person losing a great deal of weight, the opposite can also be true with the person putting on weight as a coping mechanism. Here are the three types of eating disorders and what to look out for with each one.

Anorexia; This one is basically a person literally starving themselves because they think they are fat. They will even make comments about how they’re heavy. They will make excuses about not eating, or only eat things such as lettuce which isn’t enough to sustain their nutrition wise. They could also start taking laxatives, diet pills and get into extreme exercising.

Bulimia: With this eating disorder a person will binge out on all sorts of food, then go purge it out of their system. They could also have episodes of not eating, take up exercising and tend may want to go vomit after eating a meal.

Binge Eating Disorder: The opposite of Anorexia and the one that can lead to obesity if not gotten under control. With this one, an individual will want to keep eating even when they are full. They could have moments when they eat large amounts of calories in one sitting and are prone to secret binge eating. They tend to feel guilty after they binge but will find themselves unable to break the cycle.

Seek Out Help

This is an important thing to do either as the one who has an eating disorder or as someone close to them. There are helplines a person can call to ask for help if you suspect someone you love of having an eating disorder. There is also valuable information that can be sought out to make sure that all the warning signs are there. But now comes the tricky part talking to the individual. It is never easy to get someone to admit they have a problem even an eating disorder because odds are, they aren’t even aware there is a problem. Pick a moment where you can talk to the person in private, and brooch the subject, don’t get accusing or defensive. If they deny it, maybe a intervention is needed in which you and others who deeply care for the person who has also noticed the warning signs could be necessary. Remember, the first step in an individual combatting an eating disorder is for them to admit that they have one. From there the proper treatment can be sought out and the individual can take the first steps towards the recovery process.