Eating Disorders: How To Spot Them And Where To Find Help
| NurseJournal Staff
Anorexia NervosaAnorexia is a very serious mental illness that can alter the way that we see ourselves so that bodies seem to appear larger than they are, no matter how thin a body is in reality. This particular disorder includes a severe fear of gaining weight that progresses into starvation, over-exercise, or both. People suffering from anorexia may also eat small amounts of food and purge before it can cause them to gain weight. This can be a particularly difficult disorder to treat as patients often fear getting better as it will result in them getting fat; unfortunately, this often leads to malnutrition which has various negative health issues associated with it. The majority of people living with anorexia nervosa are women, but some men also suffer from eating disorders, and it’s just as serious a problem for men as it is for women. Nearly ten percent of those suffering from this illness will die from health related problems, even during or after treatment. These problems can come from heart failure, weakened bones, and a multitude of hormonal imbalances that can lead to infertility among other things. Types of Eating Disorders What is Anorexia Nervosa (PDF) Anorexia Symptoms National Eating Disorders Association Help
Bulimia NervosaAnother eating disorder that we know well is bulimia, which is often associated with binging and purging. Some bulimics may purge after everything they eat, or only after binging; every illness is different. The binge eating of this illness can easily make us feel as though we’ve lost control of how much we can and will eat, which is what brings on the urge to rid our bodies of the food that will surely cause weight gain in the future. Although bulimics may also suffer from body image issues, and see themselves as being bigger than they actually are, it can be extremely difficult to diagnose because the behaviors are often kept secretive, and unlike anorexia, bulimia doesn’t always lead to a thin body type, and not all bulimics purge orally, some use laxatives, exercise frequently, or fast to get results. Bulimia Nervosa Fact Sheet (PDF) Symptoms of Bulimia Bulimia Nervosa Resource Guide Treatment for Bulimia
Binge Eating DisorderBinge eating disorder is often confused with bulimia, but this binging doesn’t include purging, which means that all of the food consumed stays where it is. This overeating is still considered a mental disorder as we may overeat for reasons other than hunger, such as stress, depression, or just the happiness that it seems to bring us. This illness is also referred to as overeating, because that is basically what it involves, and it can become quite serious and lead to many health related problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart issues, and obesity. It can be spotted in individuals who feel the need to eat large quantities at each meal, more than one of each meal a day, or are constantly putting something into their mouth. Mental Health and Binge Eating Signs Your Teen is Binge Eating Binge Eating Disorder (PDF)
Help and Treatment OptionsWe can help the people that we know and love to get through these eating disorders through support, communication, and positivity. If you recognize somebody who may only eat privately, visits the bathroom directly after eating and runs water or makes other sounds to disguise possible purging, or who portrays signs of poor body image then you should consult somebody you trust or a doctor on the issue. There are treatment options for all three of these disorders among others, and while some of them do require our help to support the person experiencing the illness, others utilize residential rehabilitation centers, similar to alcoholism, to provide a safe environment where medication can be prescribed and group therapy sessions can be taken part in. Eating Disorder Recovery Eating Disorder Treatment Referral Guide (PDF) Anorexia and Bulimia Recovery Eating Disorder Programs
NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?
Resources and articles written by professionals and other Nurses like you.