Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder and a disease that, if left untreated, slowly destroys the human body. Apart from physical damage and health risks, anorexia is also a psychological struggle; anorexics suffer from severely distorted self-perception. Despite being dangerously underweight, those suffering from anorexia believe themselves to be grossly overweight and continue to diet, fast, and purge in order to lose as much weight as possible. Anorexics may limit their portions until they face death from starvation, or they may exercise excessively purge, and abuse laxatives. They often believe that thinness is the equivalent of happiness and thus strive to be thin no matter the cost.
If an individual demonstrates signs of anorexia, he or she should be evaluated by a medical doctor for an official diagnosis and begin appropriate treatment immediately. Anorexics are often in denial of their condition and may need to be prompted to begin treatment through an intervention performed by their loved ones. After the anorexic acknowledges that he or she has a problem or is urged to begin treatment, the healing process can begin.
Anorexia Recovery Process
After any serious medical risks are stabilized and the patient’s basic nutritional needs are met, anorexia treatment consists of the following three main goals:
- Restore a healthy body weight
- Address psychological issues
- Eliminate destructive thoughts and behaviors to prevent relapse
Because of the mental and emotional struggles that cause disordered eating, treatment for anorexia is often a difficult process. Due to a lack of self-awareness, many anorexics do not understand that there is a problem with their eating habits or realize that they are underweight. Therefore, patients may be uncooperative with treatment procedures and unwilling to strive to meet treatment goals. Psychotherapy becomes one of the most important recovery tools, as it helps anorexics acknowledge their condition.
Therapists build a relationship of mutual trust with their patients and help them understand and conquer their obsession with body weight. Patients may also be prescribed an anti-depressant to help with the recovery process. Recovery is emotionally trying and mentally exhausting, but the reward of a healthy mindset about food and the human body is worth the time and effort. Recovery from an eating disorder involves many changes but ultimately centers around learning to love and accept who you are, regardless of your body weight.
Need Help Finding Treatment for Anorexia?
If you or someone you love is suffering from anorexia nervosa, we can help. Please call our toll-free number. Our lines are open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. We can answer your questions about help and recovery. Call us today.