Eating Disorder Treatment

Usual cure

Eating disorders are serious and complex problems. We need to be careful to avoid thinking of them in simplistic terms, like "anorexia is just a plea for attention," or "bulimia is just an addiction to food." Eating disorders arise from a variety of physical, emotional, social, and familial issues, all of which need to be addressed for effective prevention and treatment.

Prevention
Prevention is always better than cure. To prevent eating disorder, we need a systematic attempt to change the circumstances that promote, initiate, sustain, or intensify problems like eating disorders.

Firstly, it is to prevent the occurrence of eating disorders before they begin and help promote healthy development. Secondary prevention, or "targeted prevention", are designed to promote the early identification of an eating disorder, to recognize and treat an eating disorder before it spirals out of control. The earlier an eating disorder is discovered and addressed, the better the chance for recovery.

Eating disorders are not just a "woman`s problem" or "something for the girls." Males who are preoccupied with shape and weight can also develop eating disorders as well as dangerous shape control practices like steroid use. In addition, males play an important role in prevention. The objectification and other forms of mistreatment of women by others contribute directly to two underlying features of an eating disorder: obsession with appearance and shame about one’s body.
Prevention efforts will fail, or worse, inadvertently encourage disordered eating, if they concentrate solely on warning the public about the signs, symptoms, and dangers of eating disorders. Effective prevention programs must also address:

· Our cultural obsession with slenderness as a physical, psychological, and moral issue.

· The roles of men and women in our society.

· The development of people`s self-esteem and self-respect in a variety of areas (school, work, community service, hobbies) that transcend physical appearance.

Whenever possible, prevention programs for schools, community organizations, etc., should be coordinated with opportunities for participants to speak confidentially with a trained professional with expertise in the field of eating disorders, and, when appropriate, receive referrals to sources of competent, specialized care.
Treatment
To treat all the different types of eating disorder, both physical and mental health care is important in the long term treatment of these medical conditions.

· For Anorexia nervosa
The first goal for the treatment of anorexia is to ensure the person's physical health, which involves restoring a healthy weight. Reaching this goal may require hospitalization.

Once a person's physical condition is stable, treatment usually involves individual psychotherapy and family therapy during which parents help their child learn to eat again and maintain healthy eating habits on his or her own. Behavioral therapy also has been effective for helping a person return to healthy eating habits. Supportive group therapy may follow, and self-help groups within communities may provide ongoing support.

· For Bulimia nervosa
Unless malnutrition is severe, any substance abuse problems that may be present at the time the eating disorder is diagnosed are usually treated first. The next goal of treatment is to reduce or eliminate the person's binge eating and purging behaviour.

Behavioral therapy has proven effective in achieving this goal. Psychotherapy has proven effective in helping to prevent the eating disorder from recurring and in addressing issues that led to the disorder. Studies have also found that Prozac, an antidepressant, may help people who do not respond to psychotherapy (APA, 2002). As with anorexia, family therapy is also recommended.

· For Binge-eating disorder
The goals and strategies for treating binge-eating disorder are similar to those for bulimia. Binge-eating disorder was recognized only recently as an eating disorder, and research is under way to study the effectiveness of different interventions.

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