Eating Disorder Treatment Involves Changing Behavior Patterns

Although there are differences between the eating disorders anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, they do share some of the same characteristics. Among other similarities, individuals who suffer with these disorders generally have an unfavorable view of their own bodies.

The fear of becoming overweight or the perception that one is overweight — even if they are not — are major psychological factors behind the development of these and other eating disorders. Individuals with these disorders are driven to engage in one or more of the following practices: self-induced vomiting after eating, purging, excessive exercise, disproportionate use of laxatives and periods of not eating.

It has been well documented that the major demographic of those with eating disorders are teenage girls. However, it is now common knowledge that these disorders do not discriminate. Adult men and women as well as males in their late teens also struggle with eating disorders.

Eating Disorder Treatment: Emphasis on Behavioral Adjustments

In addition to the deep-seeded psychological aspects of eating disorders that can lead to depression and other mood disorders, the physical ramifications can be devastating and even deadly. The bones and teeth may suffer due to the body not absorbing or maintaining a healthy amount of nutrients. A host of other issues such as a loss of muscle, anemia and organ damage may result from the unhealthy habits that those with eating disorders have developed.

Anorexia treatment, bulimia treatment and the treatment of eating disorders often requires a multifaceted approach. Not only must a patient be nurtured back to physical health, but the psychological aspect of these disorders must be addressed through intensive psychotherapy.

One of the most effective modes of psychotherapeutic treatment for eating disorders has proven to be cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).  In those with eating disorders, CBT focuses on areas such as improving self-esteem and developing a more realistic body image. This therapy works to redirect the “rules” these individuals have established in regard to eating habits.

Some of the nation’s leading eating disorder treatment centers such as Lindner Center of Hope’s Sibcy House near Cincinnati, Ohio incorporate CBT into their treatment plan. It is part of a well-rounded program that has helped many eating disorders patients change destructive habits and develop a healthier outlook on life.

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