An eating disorder is a mental illness which causes a person to either eat or avoid eating in such a way as to have an adverse effect on the body. This compulsion does both physical and mental damage to the sufferer. Eating disorders affect millions of people all over the world. In the U.S., roughly 7 million women and 1 million men have some form of eating disorder. Almost everyone knows someone in their family or immediate circle of friends who suffers with such a disorder. Unfortunately, eating disorders can cause death. In fact, they are the number one killer of all mental illnesses.
There are three main types of eating disorders. The first two, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, are more commonly known. The third, called binge eating disorder, is newly defined and still being researched.
*Anorexia nervosa is characterized by a distorted body image, extremely low body weight, and an obsessive fear of gaining weight. These individuals are also known to starve themselves, compulsively exercise, or take diet pills.
*Bulimia nervosa causes a person to binge eat, purge or vomit, fast, or use laxatives, diuretics, or enemas to lose excess weight. Excessive exercise is also a known trait.
*Binge eating disorder sufferers cannot control their eating impulses. They consume large quantities of food in very short periods of time. This illness can cause other health issues such as obesity, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease.
Eating Disorder Recovery
Fortunately, eating disorders are treatable, although, only about 10% of sufferers actually receive such treatment at an eating disorder treatment center. Cost can also be a deterrent, and most insurance companies won’t cover eating disorder recovery expenses. The price of eating disorder recovery can range from $500 to $2,000 per day, and sometimes even more. The average cost of inpatient care is roughly $30,000 per month and can last anywhere from 3 to 6 months. Some outpatient treatment programs can even cost upwards of $100,000.
Despite the odds, many people have successfully recovered from their eating disorders and have gone on to live healthy lives. The earlier a person is diagnosed and treated, the better chance of full recovery he or she will have. Due to the psychological nature of eating disorders, their treatment programs often require a combination of medical monitoring, feeding plans and nutritional counseling, and psychosocial intervention. Each type of eating disorder has a slightly different treatment plan. Eating disorder recovery statistics show that the best treatment for anorexia is a 3-step approach: restoring weight, counseling for distorted body image and low self esteem, and achieving long-term recovery through ongoing treatment. This is usually done in an inpatient medical setting to treat malnutrition.
For the treatment of bulimia, the goal of eating disorder recovery centers is to stop the cycle of binging and purging. This usually takes a combination of medication management strategies, nutritional rehabilitation, and psychosocial intervention. A patient is made to eat normal-sized meals and encouraged to do moderate, not excessive, amounts of exercise. Often, depression or anxiety disorders must be treated as well since they are often associated with eating disorders.
Proper treatment for binge eating disorder is still up for debate. Obesity experts argue that excess weight is the real and immediate health threat, so treating it should come before treating any psychological disorders usually associated with eating disorders. Binge eating disorder recovery is a multifaceted process and may have several ways of effective treatment which experts have yet to agree upon.
Eating disorder recovery centers save lives by treating a range of needs. Researching eating disorder recovery statistics allows an individual to see the bright future he or she can have post-illness. Getting the help one needs – whether it be anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder recovery – is the first step to a successful, healthy life.