All eating disorders require prompt medical attention, but anorexia treatment might be the most vital intervention in mental health. This is because the illness has an extremely high mortality rate. While it’s on the rarer side of eating disorders, those who suffer from it face particular challenges. Foregoing treatment simply isn’t an option.
Transformations at Mending Fences recognizes just how serious anorexia can be. Without proper medical intervention, the long-term effects of the disease often prove devastating. After reviewing the following information, you’ll understand the immediate importance of anorexia treatment. If you or a loved one is suffering, reach out to us today.
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that presents itself as a persistent and significant reduction in the amount of food a person consumes. This leads to an unhealthy body weight – less than 85 percent of what someone should weigh based on height, health, sex and age. People with the illness also have a distorted view of their body image and persistently try to get thinner.
Anorexia treatment often goes overlooked in mental health settings due to the condition’s rarity. Even among eating disorders, the condition is infrequent. Binge eating disorder, for instance, has a lifetime prevalence of 2.8 percent. This figure for anorexia is only 0.6 percent. Unfortunately, this condition also has the highest mortality rate (10 percent) of any mental health disorder.
The scariest part of anorexia nervosa is that its victims don’t recognize their severe weight loss. Their distorted body image makes them believe they’re overweight – even when they’re far below a healthy body mass. This distortion makes it difficult for them to realize that anorexia treatment may be necessary. Because of this, speaking to loved ones with the condition is vital.
Like most mental health and substance abuse disorders, anorexia can present in several ways. There are only two types of anorexia recognized in the medical field, but proper identification is necessary for appropriate treatment. The following subtypes fall under this eating disorder category:
Individuals suffering from the restricting subtype limit food intake in several ways. They often restrict the amount of calories they consume, and they also avoid certain food types (e.g. fats, carbs). This subtype can include meal skipping, calorie counting and strange rules related to what they eat (e.g. only eating red foods). Excessive exercise is also common.
Individuals suffering from binge eating/purging restrict their consumption as well, but they also engage in purging behavior. This could mean forcing themselves to vomit or misusing enemas, diuretics or laxatives. Individuals in this subtype may also engage in binge eating. Purging is used to counteract this perceived overeating.
If you or someone you love shows signs of this eating disorder, it’s important to seek anorexia treatment. Early intervention offers the best potential for full recovery. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for someone to admit they have a problem. Similarly, they are unlikely to own up to their behaviors with their loved ones.
If the following symptoms occur, though, the time to seek help is now:
Patients sometimes seek anorexia treatment after self-diagnosis, but a person has to be honest with themselves. In addition to being underweight, psychiatrists also look for other signs. Fear of weight gain, evaluating oneself based on weight, and denying the dangers of low body weight are just a few other red flags.
People who suffer from anorexia nervosa frequently won’t admit they have a mental illness. And even if they recognize that a problem exists, they may not view it as a big deal. This explains why only about one-third of those suffering from the condition seek help for it. This low statistic at least partially explains why malnutrition, starvation and even suicide are common outcomes.
Because of the severity of these consequences, it’s important to seek anorexia treatment as soon as symptoms become apparent. If someone allows these unhealthy behaviors to persist, irreparable damage can occur to the body. This is made even more serious since over half of individuals with anorexia nervosa have comorbid or common co-occurring disorders.
The moral of this story is that – if you have symptoms of this condition – it’s vital to seek anorexia treatment. The consequences of not doing so are far too great.
Anorexia nervosa is a serious eating disorder that should not be ignored. No other mental illness comes close to the mortality rate of this disease. Unfortunately, the number of people who never seek treatment only compounds this statistic. If you or a loved one shows symptoms of anorexia nervosa, reaching out for help could literally save a life.
Transformations at Mending Fences is staffed with certified professionals who frequently provide anorexia treatment. As with all mental health issues, how this illness presents itself depends heavily on the patient. This means an individualized plan offers the best chance of success. Contact us today to learn how our Holistic Approach can help you get healthy.
National Eating Disorders Collaboration
National Institute of Mental Health
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders