Benefits of Speaking Openly about Eating Disorders

Benefits of Speaking Openly about Eating DisordersEating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are psychological illnesses that can cause significant physical harm. However, treatment for eating disorders is available and addressing the disease early can increase the chances of the patient finding recovery. Unfortunately, those struggling with eating disorders and those who love them often find it difficult to speak openly about the condition.

Understanding How Eating Disorders Work

The brain manages many critical mental and physical processes through a system of chemical signals and receptors in the central nervous system. When a person eats, specialized receptors in the brain receive signals of satisfaction. These chemical boosts can become addictive just like the chemicals related to opiates or nicotine. The brain may begin to emotionally and psychologically demand the behavior that leads to the release of those chemicals.

There are several experiences that may increase the likelihood of developing an eating disorder, including the following:

  • Childhood trauma
  • Family tension such as divorce, abuse and neglect
  • Exposure to unrealistic and unhealthy body image reinforcements
  • Self-esteem deficiency
  • Anxiety disorders

Eating disorders can lead to symptoms that may damage the patient’s health and relationships, including the following:

  • Irrational fear of gaining weight
  • Secrecy about eating and drinking
  • Frequent bathroom visits after eating
  • Physical signs of starvation
  • Cessation of menstrual cycles
  • Depression
  • Sleep disorders
  • Inability to comprehend the severity of the situation
  • Inability to stop the compulsive behavior

Recovering from Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge Eating

In order to find recovery from eating disorders, patients can often benefit from treatments that are similar to those given to recovering drug or alcohol addicts. Those with eating disorders may feel that their situations are hopeless, but the neural pathways that have been damaged by the disease can be repaired over time. Successful treatment often involves a number of therapeutic elements, including the following:

  • Individual counseling
  • Education
  • Support group meetings
  • Spiritual support
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Accountability

Finding Help for Eating Disorders

Psychological disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating often thrive in secrecy. Fear and shame can be powerful deterrents against having an open conversation, but speaking honestly about eating disorders can be the first step toward lasting recovery.
If you are concerned about your own eating habits or you are worried that someone you love may have developed an eating disorder, please call our confidential toll-free helpline today. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have about anorexia, bulimia or binge eating. We are here to help. Please call now.