Anorexia is a severe and life-threatening eating disorder that causes people to starve themselves. An eating disorder is a serious mental illness that can affect anyone. Unfortunately, there are many damaging myths surrounding eating disorders, so let’s find the truth behind these myths and misconceptions.
One has to be Dangerously Thin to Have Anorexia
This is not true. Approximately 25% of people with anorexia are at an average body weight when they first experience the symptoms of this disorder. It is important to remember that the severity of an eating disorder varies from person to person. This means that some people with anorexia may be severely underweight while others might not be. You should never judge a person’s eating disorder by their weight alone because it isn’t the only factor to consider.
An Anorexic Person Never Eats
Most people with anorexia nervosa don’t eat enough food. They may only eat a few hundred calories each day, but this is nothing compared to what some consume in a given period. Even when they eat, it is likely that their meals are small and easily hidden from others. Anorexics often sit alone and eat in secret. According to research, it is estimated that up to 86% of people with anorexia nervosa engage in purging behaviors at some point during the illness.
Men Cannot Suffer from Anorexia
Today, more males are struggling with anorexia than ever before. In fact, research suggests that one out of every four people who suffer from anorexia is male. More young men are being hospitalized for anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders. The illness affects people of all ages, races, genders, and sexual orientations.
Anorexia is just a Cry for Attention
It is a known fact that people with anorexia often exhibit attention-seeking behaviors. However, this does not mean that the illness is purely for attention. In reality, those struggling with eating disorders have a very distorted body image and unhealthy relationship with food. As a result, people diagnosed with anorexia often possess shame, secrecy, and isolation feelings regarding their food issues.
Anorexia is a Phase you can Outgrow
Eating disorders like anorexia can be life-threatening. This is not a phase that one outgrows as one gets older – serious conditions require treatment. Remember, these disorders do not discriminate. They affect males and females of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities. An individual with an eating disorder will not grow out of it unless they receive professional treatment from a certified eating disorder specialist.
Treatment Options for Anorexia Nervosa
If you, or someone you know, are struggling with an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, it is crucial to find help. It is a curable condition. Here are two main treatment options you should consider.
Behavioral therapy can be an excellent option for those seeking treatment for anorexia by providing support and challenging individuals to change their habits. They help people take back control of their lives. For example, behavioral therapists might set goals with the person striving to achieve them at their own pace. There are many different types of therapy options. Some of these include cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy.
Nutritional counseling is another treatment option for those struggling with anorexia nervosa. This type of therapy allows individuals to talk about their feelings regarding food, body image, and eating habits. You can then learn to manage these feelings in healthy ways without disordered thoughts or behaviors around food.
It is easy to feel alone when you have anorexia because there are many myths surrounding the illness. You may also believe that you will always have this disorder, but nothing could be further from the truth. We know that it can be terrifying to seek professional help, but it is also the first step to recovery. If you are ready to take the next steps towards healing, consider reaching out for help today.