All around us we see poster girls of society’s definition of beauty – flat stomachs, lean arms and legs, full breasts, and perky booties. And all around us we see everyone else trying their very best to fit in to that norm, and if they don’t, they get bullied for it.
It’s no wonder more and more women are diagnosed with eating disorders and some of them tragically even die from it.
Anorexia is a psychological and life-threatening eating disorder that is characterized by excessive weight loss from self-starvation.
People suffering from this condition have extreme fears of becoming fat and they see themselves as fat even when they already weigh 15% below their ideal body weight.
Anorexia may be caused by genetics, personality traits, and a combination of other environmental factors. It is also frequently accompanied by other mental health illnesses such as anxiety disorders, depression, and substance abuse.
People with anorexia often are not aware or refuse to admit that they are ill. The first crucial step is for them to recognize that they need help. Their families and support groups should help ensure that they get the care that they need and that they stick with it.
Treating anorexia involves four main phases:
1. Restore healthy weight
2. Treat psychological disturbances such as disturbed body image, interpersonal conflicts, and low self-esteem.
3. Reduce or eliminate anorexic thoughts and behaviors
4. Preventing relapse
Anorexia patients may also need to undergo different forms of psychotherapy to address the psychological reasons behind the eating disorder.
Therefore, battling anorexia is also battling their own minds.
It’s an uphill climb, but it’s a battle that can be won.
Read more about anorexia and how to cope with it in this article by Psychology Today.
Have you suffered from a form of eating disorder? How did you defeat it? Share your story in the comments below!