A beginning assessment for eating disorders generally includes the following characteristics.
Anorexia incorporates low self esteem too. The person seems to have a misperception of body size, of hunger, satiety and other bodily sensations. She/he may be an over achiever, be compliant and exhibit unusual amounts of anxiety causing difficulty in decision making. It is not unusual for an anorexic to want to cook and control the family's eating while restricting her/himself about food intake. The person may isolate more and more, eating alone and being moody and hostile if the "aloneness" is commented on by family members.
What to Do
If a person notices someone they know or love having symptoms of an eating disorder, it is a good idea to tell that person about your concerns. The person should be encouraged to see a primary physician first to assess their physical condition. Then the doctor may refer the patient to a mental health professional who is a specialist working with eating disorders. Psychotherapy helps the patient define feelings and organize behavior toward resuming normal eating habits and activities. A registered dietitian is consulted to manage the food plan portion of the person's recovery. Should medication be needed for mood swings, a psychiatrist can be consulted. The approach to recovery is a team effort beginning with the patient and the family and incorporating several healthcare professionals.
Eating disorders are family problems. They affect the whole family. So including family members can be very helpful. Family therapy and collateral sessions are often included in the treatment plan.
Recovery, for the person affected, involves owning the symptoms and redefining them in an informative and healing way. It involves learning to control obsessive thoughts about food and focusing instead on the conflicts, fears, and insecurities that underlie the eating disorder.
Eileen Beirich recommends these books as informative on eating disorders:
HUNGER PAINS, The Modern Woman's Tragic Quest for Thinness
by Mary Pipher, PhD 1995,
THE BODY PROJECT
by Joan Jacobs Brumberg 1997
REVIVING OPHELIA, Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls
by Mary Pipher, Ph.D. 1997
|ANRED: Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating
||Eating Disorders - About.com
||Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention
||National Eating Disorder Information
||Something Fishy's Eating Disorder
|Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia
Association (ANAB) - Kingston, Ontario, Canada **
||Center for Eating Disorders -
St. Joseph Medical Center **
||Eating Disorder Referral and
Information Center **
||Eating Disorder Association (U.K.) **
Eating Disorders Links
Eating Disorders Links
Eating disorder Referral and Information Center