Defining Eating Disorders
Although many people mistakenly believe that eating disorders are a personal choice, these thoughts and behaviors ar a form of mental health disorders. Eating disorders affect each patient differently and are defined as "severe disturbances in people's eating behaviors and related thoughts and emotions." These disturbances can dramatically affect a patient's dietary habits, body image, and overall health.
If left untreated, an eating disorder can have fatal consequences, making them one of the deadliest types of mental illness.
There are three common types of eating disorders.
Patients who perceive themselves as overweight, regardless of their actual weight, are said to have anorexia nervosa. The symptoms of this disorder include:
- An obsession with weighing yourself
- Severe food restrictions
- Aggressive exercise habits
- Using vomiting or laxatives as a means of losing weight
These habits can result in dangerous weight loss and other deadly health concerns like low blood pressure, organ failure, and brain damage.
There is a close connection between your mental health and physical health. Visiting a knowledgeable, experienced psychiatrist like Dr. Bober is an important step towards receiving a professional diagnosis and treatment.
Patients with bulimia nervosa struggle with episodes of binge-eating followed by behaviors that are meant to counteract the binge-eating, such as:
- Forced vomiting
- Using laxatives
- Vigorous exercise
As with anorexia, bulimia results in malnutrition and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Patients suffering from binge-eating disorder cannot control how much they eat, and often over-eat but do not follow up with vomiting or excessive exercise. Therefore, patients who suffer from binge-eating are often overweight and eat uncontrollably until they are uncomfortably full.
Causes of Eating Disorders
Although there is no singular cause of eating disorders, there are some common biological, behavioral, or social traits among patients who suffer from this mental illness.
Patients who suffer from eating disorders typically suffer from other psychiatric disorders, such as:
Recent research also shows that there may be a link between genetics and eating disorders. Lastly, environmental factors, personal history, or family upbringing can also instill an unhealthy relationship with food and body image that manifests itself as an eating disorder.
Many patients struggling with these disorders often reject treatment because they are in denial about their condition or feel that they are in control of their disorder. But without proper eating disorder treatment, patients put themselves at risk of life-threatening diseases and death.
Because there is a close connection between your mental health and physical health, seeing a knowledgeable, experienced psychiatrist like Dr. Bober is an important step towards receiving a professional diagnosis and treatment. Every treatment is tailored to your own mental health and lifestyle to produce the most effective results. Treatment options include:
If your eating disorder stems from another mental illness, Dr. Bober may prescribe medications including antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, antipsychotics, or other carefully selected medication.
In some cases, therapy may be prescribed on its own or in conjunction with medication. Dr. Bober works closely with a psychologist who can help you gain insight into thought patterns and beliefs driving your eating disorder. Through techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, a psychologist or therapist can help you change your mindset, cope with your fears, improve your emotional state, and reduce your symptoms.
For many patients at our Hollywood practice, a support group can provide the environment they need to feel heard, understood, and comforted.
The ongoing goal of eating disorder treatment is to help patients reach a healthy weight, break unhealthy eating cycles, and address underlying issues that could be causing the disorder. By combining medication, therapy, and group support, Dr. Bober and other practitioners can help you suppress unhealthy habits, develop a stronger self-image, and overcome your disorder.
Get Help Today
If you or a loved one are exhibiting the signs of an eating disorder, prompt, professional treatment is the most effective way to treat these concerns and their underlying causes. Dr. Bober
treats patients in Hollywood with various degrees of eating disorders and is dedicated to helping you manage your illness—for good. There's no shame in asking for help. To talk to a trusted psychiatrist about treatment, request your consultation online today