Bulimia, Binge Eating and Anorexia
This group of disorders are characterized by abnormal patterns of eating too much, too little, or wanting to purge. There is a great preoccupation around eating or not eating and is often associated with anxiety, shame and guilt.
While it's a commonly held belief it only affects woman and girls, this is not the case. Men are also experiencing difficulties with food. These disorders are complex and there is no one particular reason why some individuals are more susceptible to this disorder, however the effects on the individual and their families can be very distressing. These disorders can be brought about by societal pressures and stress.
There can be serious consequences for people suffering from this disease and there are a number of treatment options that can be of benefit. A multidisciplinary approach is sometimes needed with more than one health professional involved. i.e. A Doctor, Therapist, Community Health Worker, family involvement and Psychologist. Like many of these disorders the sooner something is done before it becomes too deeply embedded, the better.
However, because of the nature of eating disorders and the deep shame and fear associated with it, many people find it more difficult to seek treatment. Family members sometimes need therapy, support and assistance to come to some sort of understanding and to take an active part in the healing. Sometimes these disorders can be best assisted by the whole family taking part in some form of counselling or therapy, especially where young people are involved.