Before we proceed with discussing anything about the Anorexia Nervosa Treatment, I would like to share some statistics with you. Statistics from the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa (R) and the Associated Disorders suggest that 1 out of 5 anorexia deaths that happen is because of suicide.
Do you realize the severity of the condition? While we are calling someone too thin to function, the person on the other side has a completely different perception about themselves.
Treating anorexia nervosa isn’t as easy as it seem. Given that the condition is so impactful on one’s health, it is possible for them to even lose their life because of this.
What is Anorexia Nervosa Eating Disorder?
Anorexia Nervosa is a type of eating disorder which makes the individual suffering to starve themselves because of the kind of unrealistic perception that they have of their body.
Even when the people around them can see them deteriorating and their bones sticking out, they would have an obsession of ending up gaining weight or worse, become overweight.
It is a very serious psychological condition which can impose risks on one’s life. 0.9% of American women suffer from this condition once throughout their lifetime. Additionally, further statistics from the same outlet suggest that 50-80% of the condition of Anorexia is genetic.
33-50% of the people (R) suffering from Anorexia nervosa also tend to suffer from additional mood disorders like depression as well. Several of the patients suffering from the condition of Anorexia also tend to suffer from conditions of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as well as Social Anxiety too.
In simpler terms, a person suffering from this eating disorder tends to starve themselves, eating the bare minimum to keep their body functioning through.
It is also medically proven that the people suffering from this condition always try to maintain a body weight which is 85% lesser than what their ideal body weight should be.
Eating disorders do have the maximum mortality rate amidst all the other mental health disorders.
What are the causes of Anorexia Nervosa?
The causes behind the condition of Anorexia are still very inconclusive. Scientists have not been able to draw down their assumptions to one single reason behind this, which is why the targeted treatment for anorexia nervosa eating disorders can often be a tough task.
For the most part, the doctors and the therapists believe that the condition is influenced by the psychological as well as the environmental conditions surrounding.
Some of the possible causes behind this condition include:
- Constant stress and unable to manage it
- Being suffering from altering conditions of depression and anxiety
- Lacking self confidence
- Not being confident with your own body; body image issues
- Negative self image about yourself
- Having unmatched expectations when it comes to standards of beauty
- Having being pushed aside growing up based on physique
What are the signs and symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa?
Coming round to the signs and symptoms, the list is quite long and extensive.
The main thing that you need to have knowledge about is the fact that a person suffering from this eating disorder doesn’t necessarily have to showcase every single one of these symptoms. For the most part, they do suffer from a cumulative collection of a few of the symptoms.
Every single person’s approach to dealing with the condition is different, so if you have a perception that someone suffering from Anorexia nervosa is going to be just super thin as a symptom, you are completely mistaken.
The signs and symptoms of the condition are signified by the physical as well as the psychological changes that one experiences.
- Sudden loss of muscle mass
- Low blood pressure persistently
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Dry skin
- Swollen hands and feet because of edema
- Stomach bloating
- Hampered frequency of periods
- Hair loss
- Brittle nails
- Hampered heart health
- Enhanced facial hair production
- Constant fear of gaining weight and becoming overweight
- Obsession with calorie intake
- Constantly checking the body weight
- Lack of appetite or refusing to eat
- Obsessive compulsive behaviour
- Indulging in over exercising
- Hampered libido
- Memory lapses or complete memory loss at times
- Frustration and irritable mood
How is the condition of Anorexia Nervosa diagnosed?
One of the worst factors involved in the condition of Anorexia Nervosa is the fact that the individual is in self denial.
According to them, they don’t need any treatment for the condition because they aren’t even suffering in the first place.
This is what drives to such extreme cases and does end up causing issues with the diagnosis and then the recovery process.
It often does end up taking years for some people to get diagnosed with the condition owing to the fact that they refuse to accept that they need help.
If the doctor suspects that the person could be suffering from Anorexia Nervosa, chances are that they will ask to get tested for a certain number of diseases to ensure that the same isn’t the contributing factor to the weight loss.
Some of the diseases include:
- Chronic infections
- Addison’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Some of the criteria which need to be assessed to base the diagnosis of the condition even better include:
- If the patient is constant restricting themselves from consuming the standard amount of calories and energy required for proper functioning of the body.
- And if patient has a ingrained fear of ending up gaining their weight even with the minimal consumption of food.
- Alongside if the patient has a very screwed and twisted perception about their body weight and their body image.
These are some of the important points that the doctors do tick off from their list when it comes to the diagnosis of the condition of Anorexia nervosa.
How to treat anorexia nervosa?
When it comes to the Anorexia Nervosa treatment, the medical means does include three distinct stages for the treatment – psychotherapy, medications and finally, hospitalization.
Given that it is a mental health disorder above anything else, it is important for the doctor or the therapist to work on restoring one’s perception about their body because that is what influences one to do better during their period of recovery.
Some of the possible treatment options as we did mention before include:
When it comes to the treatment options for anorexia nervosa, psychotherapy is possibly the very first step that one decides one.
Talking to someone professional helps you recover better, one step at a time without having to rush through it as it there’s no time in your hands.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is considered one of the best forms of therapy for the patient that can help them recognize their shortcomings and then fight through the struggles for an overall better health.
This has also been found to help someone overcome their fear surrounding food and how they perceive it as. It also teaches them better coping mechanisms when they are faced with situations responding to stress.
Additionally, many patients often indulge in the nutrition counseling as part of their treatment goals for anorexia nervosa, mainly because of the fact that it helps in getting back on track with one’s eating habits. This helps them get a better perspective on the importance of a balanced diet on one’s body.
When the therapy doesn’t have the kind of impacts that the doctors would like or suggest for, medications are the next route for the anorexia nervosa treatment.
The path isn’t the easiest because many patients often tend to skip out on their medication as well. It is futile to think that there are medications that will make you recover from the condition full form. There isn’t such medication available.
The doctors often tend to prescribe nutritional supplements to ensure that the patient’s body doesn’t breakdown completely because of the lack of the nutrition needs for their healthy recovery.
Additionally, some medications are even prescribed for the condition of the associated symptoms of depression, anxiety, OCD.
The only catch with the medication is the fact that the patients need to adhere to a healthy weight first and then consume the prescribed medications accordingly.
If the condition of the patient is in its extreme, only then does one have to take the step to hospitalize them for better recovery and a possible exertion out of the trauma that they body has been subjected to all this while.
This is often compared with that of the rehab centers that many of the patients are admitted to for better and faster recovery for them.
It is important that one does keep their calorie intake in account in such situations and the places there have specialized group of doctors and therapist who help induce better process of self recovery to ensure that the patient doesn’t have recurring impacts on their health because of the same.
How to overcome Anorexia Nervosa?
When it comes to the ways of treating anorexia nervosa, the possibilities surrounding the same are gradually gaining momentum. With so many cases registered every single year, more and more people are getting accustomed to the severity of the condition, thus paying better attention to the same.
In order to overcome anorexia nervosa, it is important that you educate yourself about the condition and the kind of consequences that it brings along.
To help prevent the long term side effects of anorexia nervosa, we are going to list out some of the best methods to overcome this condition for a better recovery.
1.Stop beating yourself up
Being self critical about yourself and everything that you do comes with the condition of anorexia. It is often hard to pinpoint what exactly could be triggering this but it isn’t surprising if you do end up questioning everything that you do in life.
The best way to overcome this condition is to ensure that you do take the time out to assess yourself first.
If you want to induce better anorexia nervosa treatment and have the same have better impacts on you, it is important that you work on our self image issues instead of fighting against the same.
Constantly blaming yourself for every single thing won’t help you in the process of recovery. Instead of beating yourself up over things that are out of your hand, it is best suggested that you do focus on working on improving your own thought process and infiltrate them with positive ones.
2.Talk to someone you trust
The more you try to suppress your feelings, the more likely you are going to end up experiencing negative impacts around the same. If you have someone that you can confide in, do that.
It is very important to ensure that you do take the time out to sit down and talk about the struggles with someone who you think would understand and help you along the way.
And isn’t the easiest, talking about the constant negative feelings but it is something that can help a lot to overcome anorexia nervosa. Also very important that you do keep the person you are confiding to, in full confidence.
When you talk to someone about the struggles that you have been facing, the same does help you feel a lift off your chest and promote you to opt for further treatment options for anorexia nervosa.
If possible, give the person some idea on how they can help you with the process of recovery. Confiding is actually an amazing way to reach around and accepting that what you have been experiencing isn’t healthy.
3.Enroll yourself in a support group
One of the most common obstacles in the anorexia nervosa treatment is the fact that the patient thinks they are the only ones suffering from this condition, when in reality, that isn’t the case.
Millions of people across the world suffer from this condition and several other eating disorders.
If you have been struggling to keep things aligned for yourself, it is best suggested to ensure that you do enroll yourself in a support group to witness how many people are suffering like you are.
Hearing their struggles and their stories and even sharing yours can help you overcome anorexia nervosa and find better ways to support yourself through the condition even better.
4.Stop with the restrictive diets
Even though you are more likely going to not even feel like eating, chances are that the restrictive diets further worsen the condition.
If you have been struggling to keep things aligned for yourself with this, it is best suggested that you stop thinking about the diet and the calories that you are going to intake through the path of recovery.
It is easier said than done but this is actually considered one of the best ways to overcome the shortcomings and fight through the battles that you have been dealing with.
5.Accept that something is wrong
As we did mention before, self denial is one of the markers when it comes to the treatment for anorexia nervosa eating disorders.
If you want to overcome this and find better ways to fight through the battle and struggles, it is necessary that you do focus on the fact that something is actually wrong.
The moment that you accept to yourself that what you are doing isn’t ideal and that you are contributing to your own self destruction, that is when you can successfully recover from this condition better.
It is very important to ensure that you do take the time and not rush through this just because that is what seems ideal to do.
Isn’t a hard process in accepting the fact that you have an addiction or something very wrong with your body and your mental health. Takes a lot of courage but it is the first step towards recovery.
6.Don’t let the inner voices take over
When it comes to the ways to overcome anorexia nervosa, many people fail to realize the fact that they aren’t just overcoming their eating disorder but also the battles that their mind plays with them.
Inner voices can often be part of the trigger that makes a person relapse when are their road to recovery. This is thus important that you look out for the ways to help overcome these shortcomings for the better.
It doesn’t have to be the full drive for your recovery but it can help you become firmer in your decision and fight out your problems for the better.
You can work to suppress these voices and the same can get more than half of the problems sorted.
7.Self recovery isn’t the wisest – realize this
Given that there are chances for you relapsing, it is always best suggested that you do opt for better ways under professional help for the best recovery.
If you want to overcome and experience a full recovery, it is very important that you understand for a fact that the self help books and even the support groups won’t suffice.
Even studies have found that the people suffering from eating disorders are more likely going to recover better with medical treatments.
8.Motivate yourself on a daily basis
Even though it might not seem like everything, motivating yourself can most definitely bring about amazing impacts on your process of recovery and to overcome this condition.
It is very important that you do focus on the prospect of the positives that you have within yourself. This itself is enough to keep you on track and help in bettering the condition for you.
If you want to know about the best ways to do so, reading and listening to motivational stuff can help with this even better than you do realize.
Refuel your motivation every single day. Be thankful for the day that you have been blessed with and don’t let it overtake your emotional state because that can impact for the worse.
9.Don’t lose hope
Nothing is easy in life. Everything does come with a challenge that you have no idea about.
The anorexia nervosa treatment is something similar.
If you have been relapsing a lot and experiencing downfalls through the process, it is very important that you don’t lose hope through it.
Understand that not everything is going to play in your favour all the time. This is why it is necessary that you stick to your goals and stay strong even though you are faced with difficult times and failure through the process.
10.Do abide by the treatment plans
Last but not the least when it comes to the ways to overcome anorexia nervosa is to ensure that you follow through the designated treatment plans.
This helps ensure that you have a healthy way of coping through the problems that you have been facing and helps in faster recovery.
Abide by what the therapist has suggested and find better ways to channel your negative thoughts. It is easier to say but it isn’t that easy to do.
So, take your time.
How to help someone with Anorexia nervosa?
When it comes to the ways to help someone through the treatment options for anorexia nervosa, it isn’t the easiest.
The last thing you want is to tell something to them that could end up triggering the string of negative thoughts.
Some of the effective ways in which you can support someone include:
- Don’t talk about their body or their physical appearance, even if it to praise them on their recovery. Often times, when you tell them that they are looking better, there are chances that their minds can end up thinking they became overweight
- If someone confides in your about their condition, listen to them and suggest them better treatment options
- Support them through the process
- Create a safe space for them to come talk to you whenever they feel like they are at their worst state
How to prevent Anorexia Nervosa?
Prevention is always better than cure. If you have been struggling to keep things aligned for yourself, it is better than you do opt for the preventive measures that can further help abstain the risk factors.
Some of best preventive measures include:
- Work on your self confidence to make yourself immune to the negative critics
- Understand that the eating disorder isn’t the only option
- Prepare your mind to indulge in better ways of healthy coping mechanisms
- Confide in people about the struggles you are facing
Eating disorder and any other mental health disorder need special care and attention. If you have been undergoing the anorexia nervosa treatment, it is important that you find better ways to cope and then set yourself on the path to recovery. Nothing is going to be easy. This is a given. But you need to fight through the odd battles to keep yourself health, how much ever time it takes.