Eating Disorders and Treatment Methods

Eating disorders are disorders in which the person obsessively deals with his own weight and appearance, develops obsessive thoughts about it, and therefore shows serious changes in his eating behaviors.

Three different disorders are included in this diagnostic category: Anorexia, Bulumia, and Binge Eating Disorder. Although Anorexia Nervosa and Bulumia Nervosa are two pathologies that are often confused with each other, it is very difficult to distinguish between them. Because after the initial stage, both disorders can evolve into each other. In other words, the person’s showing symptoms of Bulumia Nervosa may turn into Anorexia over time and vice versa.

  1. Anorexia Nervosa:

In its simplest terms, it is excessive restriction of one’s food intake. For this reason, the person weighs much less than the weight appropriate for his age and height. Fear of gaining weight is seen in these people and it is known that eating restriction continues with this fear. Therefore, anorexic people are accompanied by body perception disorder because no matter how thin they are, the body they see in the mirror is still overweight. Mindsets are always I have to be the thinnest, reach the weight that no one can reach’is in the form.

There are two subtypes:

  1. Restrictive subtype: Restriction of eating

  2. Bulimic subtype: As a result of binge attacks, the person’s desire to evacuate by vomiting or using certain medications. Compensatory behaviors are also observed with excessive sports.

  1. Bulumia Nervosa:

It is the person’s development of compensatory behavior as a result of repeated binge eating attacks. The aim is to prevent weight gain, and they try to achieve this goal by vomiting or evacuating with various drugs. Overcompensatory behaviors are also seen in this diagnosis. Their mindsets often move forward as if I gain weight, I am unsuccessful in every field, and if I am weak, I am very confident and successful.

As can be seen, Bulumic type, which is the lower step of Bulumia Nervosa and Anorexia Nervosa, is very similar to each other. So how can we distinguish these two types?

If the person has experienced the restrictive type of Anorexia Nervosa in a certain period of his life, that is, he has lost weight by seriously restricting his eating behavior, and if he has recently engaged in compensatory behavior such as drug abuse and excessive sports, he is diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa-bulumic subtype. If he has never met the criteria for restrictive subtype Anorexia Nervosa in any area of ​​his life, that is, if the attacks started with the binge attacks-compensation couple, not with restriction, he can be directly diagnosed with Bulumia Nervosa. However, since the treatment of these types is similar to each other, it may not be possible to draw a clear line between them.

  1. Binge Eating Disorder:

Unlike Bulumia Nervosa, only binge eating behavior is observed, but the person does not go to the compensatory method. In order for the person to receive this diagnosis;

  • Eating unusually fast

  • Feeling guilty after the attack

  • Performing this behavior alone because he is ashamed of what he ate

  • Uncomfortably full feeling

  • When there is no physical hunger, it is necessary to eat in excessive amounts.

  • It is expected that people who experience binge eating attacks will have much more stomach volume than a healthy person. Therefore, this causes the person to fight obesity over time.

Treatment Methods:

First, many eating disorder patients may refuse treatment despite being aware of the condition. Therefore, the first step for treatment is to ensure that the person cooperates. Treatment of eating disorders should be managed by a group of psychologists, psychiatrists, dietitians, and necessary medical branches according to the effects of the disease.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the most frequently used and most effective therapy method in this field. Eating disorders, which occur depending on the emotional state of the people, aim to improve the person’s coping skills during therapy. Social and family support is very important at this stage. However, it should not be forgotten that the later an eating disorder is detected and the later treatment is started, the more difficult the process becomes. In addition, the treatment of eating disorders consists of long-term therapies.

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