1. Getting Immediate Care, If Necessary
The most urgent aspect of getting treatment for eating disorders is the physical side. Although the root cause is not physical, they can be fatal. Malnourishment is not the only health risk associated with eating disorders. It is also important to be aware that weight is not necessarily an indicator of health. You also need to take other underlying health concerns into account when assessing the physical dangers. Some of the more serious side effects are heart attacks, strokes, electrolyte imbalance, liver failure, muscle wastage and in some cases a torn esophagus from vomiting. It is essential to deal with these physical problems before dealing with the mental issues, as there are many fatalities associated with these disorders.
2. Admitting the Problem
While eating disorders have extreme physical consequences, they are actually mental in origin. The physical impact is only a symptom of the underlying problem. They are a kind of addiction, and like any kind of addiction, the biggest battle is admitting that you have a problem so that you can start dealing with it. One of the biggest challenges sufferers face is admitting the problem to themselves and their loved ones.
3. Receiving Ongoing Treatment
Ongoing treatment for eating disorders is in depth and varied. Counselling is often necessary in order to promote healthy body image. It is often important to treat ongoing psychological issues – such as anxiety and/or depression – in conjunction with physical care, ensuring that the sufferer eats normally and does not attempt to purge their bodies afterwards. It may be necessary to have a period of residential care where the sufferer will learn new healthier habits which they can take back to their normal life followed by ongoing regular counseling sessions. Consulting a professional is a great first step when setting up a treatment plan.