Disordered eating is the open secret that many know, but very few talk about. A case in point is the anorexia vs. bulimia discussion. Do you know that both conditions have more in common than meets the eye? Most importantly, would you know how to seek help for yourself or a loved one? The first step in finding the care and treatment you or a loved one needs to address disordered eating is education. Once you’ve learned about the various similarities and differences between the two most common types of disordered eating, anorexia, and bulimia, you’ll be better poised to find the necessary treatment. The Santé Center for Healing can guide you through not just what to look out for in terms of identifying disordered eating but how to get the proper therapy to recover, heal, and return to living a healthy life again.
Disordered Eating Isn’t About Food
Although food is part of the anorexia vs. bulimia discussion, it’s not the cause of either condition. Rather, you can trace the disorders to problems with body image. That said, symptoms include a love-hate relationship with food. Sometimes individuals see what they eat and how they eat as the best ways to exert control over themselves. Other times, food becomes the means through which they release their pent up anxieties. The abuse of food items results in serious symptoms.
Anorexia vs. Bulimia
Anorexia is a disorder that makes you believe you’re overweight. You feel that you’d be prettier, happier, or more popular if you lost weight. It doesn’t matter that you’re rail thin. You don’t put much credence in people telling you that they worry about your health.
You see yourself as needing to lose more weight. To achieve your goals, you’ll lie about having eaten already or skip meals in private. You live on low-calorie foods and may spend hours exercising to burn off calories. Your health suffers, and you deal with skin and hair problems, dizzy spells, and dehydration.
Bulimia involves purging the food you recently ate. You might vomit or abuse laxatives to avoid weight gain. What compounds your condition is your penchant for uncontrolled binge eating. You know that you’re out of control, but you believe that purging fixes it.
You want to stop yourself. Maybe you feel shame and blame yourself. You lie about your condition to others. In the process, your body suffers, and your health deteriorates. If you are struggling, seek help from a holistic therapy program.
Therapy Offers Relief and Healing
Effective anorexia or bulimia treatment program focuses on your mental health. Sometimes, there’s also a drug abuse problem that started to help with weight loss. Regardless of whether you’re dealing with anorexia vs. bulimia, therapeutic interventions include the following:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy as a way to modify inappropriate thought or action patterns
- Trauma treatment that lets you break down disruptive events from the past and process them
- Dual diagnosis treatment that tackles the addiction
- Nutritional counseling and therapy that helps you rebuild a healthy use of food
- Family therapy, which invites those closest to you to assist you with recovery
Seeking help is vital. Both conditions don’t improve by themselves. Similarly, both will result in further physiological symptoms and illnesses. Dying from either condition is possible.
Not Just a Female Problem
The majority of people with disordered eating are female. However, it’s not a female-only condition. Some men struggle with body image problems. They, too, fear exposure and think they can handle the situation.
Gender-specific group therapy is an excellent way of dealing with these dynamics. You feel comfortable discussing anorexia vs. bulimia and receive peer encouragement and feedback. Learn more about getting well by contacting the Santé Center for Healing. Reach our caring therapists by calling 866.238.3154 now.