A Guide to Anorexia Nervosa – Understanding Major Symptoms and Treatment Options
Anorexia Nervosa is generally defined as a serious psychological disorder that happens to them, who have serious obsessions towards diets and exercises. Such people often fear weight gain, and that works as the driving factor behind their obsession towards dieting and exercises.
Both exercise and dieting are good, but obsession with them is considered as harmful. In fact, people having Anorexia Nervosa often lead them to starvation in fear of gaining weight. According to research and surveys, around 1% population of the world is suffering from Anorexia Nervosa. However, the alarming factor is that the trend for suffering from this disease is increasing quite rapidly. Reports are also indicating that Anorexia Nervosa is more common in women than men.
Understanding the Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa
To understand Anorexia Nervosa and its effects on a certain human being, symptoms are required to be analyzed carefully. In fact, symptoms, tell that how the obsession for over dieting came to the mind of the victim. Symptom helps understanding the root psychological cause of the disease, and thus it gets easier to help the patient to overcome the disease or disorder.
Anorexia Nervosa may have a lot of minor as well as major symptoms to show. There are only a few specific symptoms that indicate the occurrence of this disease, otherwise rest of the symptoms is pretty common.
So, in the following section, let us have a close look at the various symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa. For better understanding and accurate diagnosis of the disease, top 5 symptoms have been listed below:
- Starving Tendency: Patients of Anorexia Nervosa tend to starve, and they kind of generate fear for foods gradually. They start behaving peculiarly when they are offered high calorie foods. They either get angry or tend to throw foods away. Sometimes, after a meal, they feel that they have eaten too much and thus they start vomiting forcefully by putting fingers inside the throat.
- Concerns over Nutrition: Victims of Anorexia Nervosa generally want to talk over nutrition or calories. They love talking on these things, and portray themselves as geeks in this domain. They read a lot of books or journals on dieting, nutrition, etc. They also suggest others what to eat and what not to.
- Full Day Obsession for Dieting: Victims of Anorexia Nervosa have hyper obsession towards dieting. They plan for dieting throughout the day, and tend to ignore the other tasks. tell them anything important, they would hardly remember that after a few hours. Diet charts can be found all over the house or room, along with scattering health related books, CDs and journals.
- Refuse to Eat in front of Others: Anorexia Nervosa patients indulge in strange or peculiar eating rituals. They generally refusing eating before others or sometimes they eat lesser before others. When they stay alone, they tend to eat more than usually they do in front of others.
- Rapid Weight Lose: Due to too much obsession over dieting, it is obvious that victims of Anorexia Nervosa lose their body weight quite rapidly. They turn fragile and weak, but still they do not want to eat foods. With lack of nutrition, different physical disorders take place as aftermaths. For example, hair loss, skin rashes, joint pain, weakness, etc. are common aftermaths of Anorexia Nervosa.
Treatments for Anorexia Nervosa
It has to be stated that no simple treatment option is there for Anorexia Nervosa. Since this is a psychological disorder, one needs mental or psychological counseling as well as therapies to get rid of this typical disease. Treatment plan has to be initiated at the earliest stage, if possible.
Sadly, majority patients are not diagnosed at the earliest stage, and thus complications occur quite commonly. It is also to be noted that treatment plan for different people should be different, as there is no fixed guideline for healing this mental disorder.
Here in the following section, we shall have a close look on the possible treatment options for Anorexia Nervosa.
Therapies for Eating Disorder
Anorexia Nervosa or commonly known as the eating disorder can be healed through therapies. The goal is to educate the person on healthy eating and reducing the fear of gaining weight. Fashion conscious men and women, suffering from this disease, should understand that eating nothing or starving does not make them beautiful.
On the other hand, gaining a little can be normal as well as genetic in various cases. In order to avoid rapid weight gain, one must understand the value of eating healthy foods. With proper eating as well as balanced dieting both weight gain and Anorexia Nervosa can be curbed efficiently.
Psychological counseling process has been concluded in a few steps. The first stage is to understand patient’s problems or fears. Efficient counseling experts allow patients to tell their stories so that the fear factor, inside them can be understood.
When the root causes of fear of weight gain has been diagnosed, counseling experts prepare treatment programs to get rid of those fears. In the treatment process, mainly patients get education on various aspects. It tells about the importance of nutrition and also assures patients that weight gaining is not common if one can manage to follow a balanced diet.
Eating half meal or starving can lead to various physical disorders, and patients are educated on those possible chances of physical disorders.
Cognitive Behavioral Treatment
Cognitive behavioral treatment has been found quite effective for those who are suffering from eating disorders. The treatment has been structured in 10 to 20 sessions typically. Some people even need to attend a few more sessions, if required. This kind of treatment is aimed to change unhealthy pattern of thinking. It restores faith on the value of eating well and staying healthy.
Residential Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa
Residential eating disorder treatment is for those, who have taken their starving obsession to an alarming level. Such patients are given caring ambiance, where they learn normal behaviors again, especially when it comes to having the meals. In case the disorder turns severe and peculiar behavior of the patients become alarming, residential treatment option is highly suggested.
Patients stay under the observation of medical assistants and thus there is enough assurance that the patient will not harm herself or himself by any chance.
Over the Counter Medicines
Over the counter medicines are suggested, not for the treatment of the eating disorder, but for the treatment of the various symptoms of the disease. As patients, suffering from this disorder, tend to starve, they generate nutritional disorders, physical weaknesses, skin or hair related diseases and many more.
These aftermaths of Anorexia Nervosa have to be treated with over the counter medicines, as suggested or prescribed by good physician. Patients need to be kept under surveillance so that they take medicines timely.
Luxury Eating with Friends and Family
Some people tend to lose their appetite during the course of diagnosis and treatment for Anorexia Nervosa. Family members should give her or him mental support as well as strength. A luxury, dine out plan would be a perfect thing to heal obsessions of patients.
Eating something exotic or experimental, like seafood or other stuffs may also help. This type of treatment has to be given to the patient when she has almost recovered her obsessions for weight loss.