Can Eating Disorders Be Treated?
You can treat an eating disorder much like you can treat cancer, but that does not imply you can actually cure it. An eating disorder is much like any addiction; it produces a lifelong craving. When a person has had an eating disorder for any significant length of time, they become an addict. Once an addict, always an addict; this is because eating disorders for the most part, have the ability to change the body chemistry of the individual affected.
Eating Disorder – The Addiction
Eating disorders like bulimia change body chemistry. They can lower hormone levels, change blood chemistry, and cause other biological illnesses like depression. The same is true of alcohol. Some people need their eating disorder to simply feel “normal.” For many, food becomes the object that helps them feel “normal” much like any other drug.
Thus, without the daily “fix” the patient begins to feel anxious, sweaty…they may experience panic attacks. In the traditional sense, such problems can be treated. But, as with anyone that exits rehab, the desire for food, always hides deep within the subconscious waiting for an opportunity to rise up.
In the case of anorectics, the need for power hides until an opportunity for the disease to rear its ugly head again. This is why consistent therapy and constant vigilance is so important for clients with eating disorders. This group of diseases isn’t always something you can take a pill for and walk away cured.
Food – The Basis For Life
Another reason eating disorders can be treated but not always cured is that people require food to live. While someone can toss cigarettes to the wind forever, because they don’t need them to live, one cannot give up eating forever.
And, the moment a food addict puts food into his or her mouth, the battle begins. That means at the very least once, twice, or three or more times a day a food addict is struggling with their addiction for the rest of their life.
With time and appropriate therapies, this fight becomes easier. But as any addict will tell you, especially during times of duress, the battle is constantly raging within. Sometimes it is mostly dormant, but occasionally it resurfaces, and when it does, all hell breaks loose.
For many, having an eating disorder is one of the most shameful, and most difficult of addictions to break. Many people don’t understand why people simply can’t stop what they are doing. Yet, look at the number of obese people around the world today. Food is the least expensive and most popular drugs on the market today, and you can get it over-the-counter. No wonder the habit is so hard to break.