Minuchin Family Therapy of Eating Disorders - 2532 Words | Research Paper Example (2023)

Salvador Minuchin pioneered the structural family therapy (SFT), a psychotherapy that is used to address family problems. Therapists operate by joining the family to understand how it functions. They observe the familial operations to understand the relationships among members. This way, therapists can identify disruptions in the relationships. The ultimate aim is to stabilize these relationships. Minuchin believes that pathology rests within the family system as opposed to the individual. Therefore, identifying the core of the problem is more effective compared to focusing on the symptoms of the victim. Minuchin family therapy has been applied in various aspects of family-related problems. This paper will examine how this therapy can be applied in correcting eating disorders in adolescents.

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Statistical Research

Eating disorders, particularly, anorexia nervosa, is a serious psychiatric problem with a considerable prevalence among adolescents. Touchette et al. (2011) estimate that between 0.48% and 0.7% adolescents aged 15 to 19 years have an eating disorder. This figure shows a high prevalence. Hence, psychiatrists have been engaged in attempts to control this problem. Additionally, people with anorexia tend to have a high likelihood of developing comorbid psychological conditions. Touchette et al. (2011) also found that nearly 60% of adolescents with eating disorders tend to have a lifetime anxiety or affective mayhem. Eating disorders are a major cause of concern since they contribute to suicide. According to Forcano et al. (2011), suicide cases associated with eating disorders are higher compared to any other psychiatric disarray. Anorexia nervosa may also result in death because of physical complications in victims.

Anorexia is demonstrated through various ways. The diagnostic criteria observe particular behaviors in the victim. The common form in which anorexia is demonstrated is refusing to maintain body weight or only maintaining a body weight that is slightly above the normal levels based on the adolescents’ BMI (Hurst, Read, & Wallis, 2012). In addition, the adolescent may demonstrate an intense fear of gaining weight while he or she is in fact underweight. Thirdly, the victim may be incessantly obsessed with how other people view his or her body shape. Anorexic adolescents also actively deny that they have a low weight issue. In girls, amenorrhea may be experienced, lasting up to three menstrual cycles (Hurst et al., 2012). According to Hurst et al. (2012), two types of anorexia exist. Restricting anorexia occurs when the victim has strictly avoided binge eating. On the other hand, binge-eating anorexia occurs where the victim has been engaged in purging (Hurst et al., 2012).

Anorexia occurs because of multifactorial causes. However, genetic predisposition is the most common risk factor (Hurst et al., 2012). Hurst et al. (2012) found that personality traits such as perfectionism and practicing dieting at an early age could contribute greatly to anorexia incidence. It is important to observe that anorexia is much more common in female adolescents relative to their male counterparts. Hurst et al. (2012) assert that changes in the female’s body during puberty can raise the risk of engaging in poor eating habits. Body dissatisfaction, particularly, becomes heightened during puberty. If not detected and corrected early, these eating habits can then compound to become anorexia.

The question of whether anorexia is a chronic illness arises often. Hurst et al. (2012) argue that anorexia is a chronic disease, which can subsist for up to between four and seven years. Contrasting research indicates that patients can fully recover from anorexia within a reasonable duration (Touchette et al., 2011). Recovery is subject to the proper intervention mechanism. Interestingly, chances of relapse are uncommon with former anorexic patients. It is for this reason that the family-based treatment was conceived and implemented to involve the family in the recovery of adolescents.

Family-Based Treatment

Family therapy is one of the ways of addressing eating disorders. Researchers such as Barker and Chang (2013) examine the effectiveness of this approach in addressing eating disorders in adolescents. Traditionally, parents were not involved in interventions aimed at correcting eating disorders in their children because they (parents) are likely to make strong interventions on the eating habit of the child, often resulting in undesirable consequences (Hurst et al., 2012). However, recent developments have suggested that parents and the entire family should be involved in arresting eating disorders. This new revelation follows Minchin’s contention that psychiatric problems are found within the family system, as opposed to being primarily a problem with the adolescents themselves (Barker & Chang, 2013).

The role of the family in managing anorexia has always been controversial since the disorder was declared a medical condition. Wiliam Gull, a psychiatrist from the 19th-century, called family members the “worst attendants” in addressing eating disorders in their offspring (Silber, Lyster-Mensh, & DuVal, 2011). Parents, particularly, have often been regarded as “pernicious influence” on their children who are suffering from eating disorder. This view is linked to the usual strictness of parents, which may have counterproductive effects on the adolescent. Therefore, it is understandable that clinical interventions saw parents excluded from the care of adolescents with anorexia. Others such as Goldenberg and Goldenberg (2012) who justify the exclusion of family from the adolescent’s recovery cite the developmental needs of the adolescents such as the need for autonomy, self-control, and aggressiveness.

Therefore, Minuchin and his colleagues were going against this tradition when they recommended family involvement in the recovery from anorexia (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2012). Proponents of Minuchin family therapy argue that it improves family pathology in areas such as rigidity, conflict, and overprotectiveness. This approach has become commonly accepted in treating and counseling adolescents with anorexia in many countries. Dare and Eisler from Maudsley Hospital in London successfully incorporated Minuchin family therapy in their treatment procedures with positive results (Couturier, Kimber, & Szatmari, 2013). Therefore, family-based treatment follows Minchin’s assertions in addressing the problem of anorexia in youngsters. Dare and Eisler also established that with appropriate intervention, inpatient adolescents were able to recover the original body weight (Godart et al., 2012). Therefore, the conclusion was that with appropriate guidance, parents could help their children in making a full recovery.

Various guidelines and a manual are available to parents on how to approach the family-based treatment. Early in the treatment, parents are assisted in understanding medical and psychiatric direness of anorexia, including its high mortality rate. Mortality in adolescents with anorexia usually results from suicide or heart failure. Preti, Rocchi, Sisti, Camboni, and Miotto (2011) found that suicide incidence in adolescents with anorexia is alarming. For instance, out of 16 342 patients who had the disorder, 245 committed suicide in a span of 11 years.

While this information is likely to cause anxiety on the part of parents, it is crucial in making parents understand that they are an integral part of the intervention mechanism. Once parents are made aware of the medical and psychiatric seriousness of the disorder, they are encouraged to seek solutions to problems of refusing food by the adolescent. Parents are then reminded to avoid using aggressive approaches as they may backfire, worsening the problem. The strategy adopted must be agreed upon between the parents and therapists. It often involves increasing the adolescents’ food intake while reducing physical exercise.

Therefore, the first phase of the family-based treatment is dedicated to helping the parent to become organized, consistent, and persistent without becoming impatient (Downs & Blow, 2013). The aim of this stage is to help in eliminating food refusal and promoting weight gain in the adolescent. Once the adolescents have regained weight and/or are eating normally, they are allowed to be in control of their eating habits (Downs & Blow, 2013).

Finally, after the adolescent demonstrates a consistent ability to eat normally, the therapy shifts to general aspects of adolescent development. This systematic approach helps in undermining feelings of helplessness by the adolescents. As they regain control of their eating habits, they become more capable of handling life’s situations generally. Involving the family is important since the adolescent does not feel like he or she is carrying the burden alone. Family-based treatment also assists parents to appreciate eating disorder as a serious problem, hence making efforts to assist the adolescent. This approach makes the recovery easier relative to instances where the parents leave the adolescent to deal with anorexia alone.

Significance of the Findings

Anorexia is a serious disorder that has a sobering mortality rate. As observed, anorexia has the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric disorders. Therefore, obtaining the relevant information about diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of this disorder is critical. Anorexia is a particularly complex condition because it affects mostly adolescents. Since adolescents are in the prime of their developmental stage, it becomes difficult to seek or accept help when they discover they have developed dangerous eating habits. This section presents the importance of the knowledge of anorexia to the field of psychology, including how it can contribute to better eating habits, and importantly, rescue adolescents from the life-threatening condition.

Psychiatrists spend numerous hours studying mental disorders. Information on mental disorders is important since it can help patients and the people around them to lead better lives. Chesney, Goodwin, and Fazel (2014) assert that mental disorders increase the risk of suicide in victims. Anorexia, particularly, is the leading psychiatric illness regarding suicide. Anorexia also predisposes the patient to possible death because of related complications.

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Due to its seriousness, it is important for psychiatrists to learn ways of identifying anorexia in its early stages. In fact, despite the disease being curable, the treatment procedure is very delicate. It has a high risk of failure. Therefore, early detection and possible prevention may help to avoid the treatment altogether. The discussion above has identified ways by which anorexia can be identified. The symptoms do not require medical expertise to determine. This situation makes it easy for parents or older family members to observe anorexic behavior in adolescents, thus making an appropriate intervention.

Unlike in the past, psychiatrists now believe that families are instrumental in the recovery of adolescents from anorexia. Hildebrandt, Bacow, Markella, and Loeb (2012) assert that habituation to food in an environment that the patient is comfortable in [at home] results in effective outcomes. This finding has been backed by numerous researchers, including Dire and Eisler, who are responsible for the Maudsley treatment program, which is also known as the family-based treatment. Involving the adolescent’s family directly in the recovery has several benefits besides effective recovery.

Because the patients are in an environment that they are comfortable with, they are more likely to be willing to take up the treatment compared to a hospital situation. Additionally, as the adolescents are surrounded by family members, they are likely to feel open to discuss difficulties encountered during recovery. In addition, because family-based treatment studies focus on the relationships in the family, it is easy to identify the underlying reasons why the adolescent resorted to extreme eating habits. Therefore, the root of the problem can be corrected, instead of focusing only on symptoms.

Family-based treatment is designed to allow recovery in a systematic manner. The methodical recovery ensures that the patient fully recovers in any one stage before proceeding to the next. The importance of this plan is that it minimizes the risk of relapse by the victim (Hurst et al., 2012). Additionally, parents are trained on how to carry out the family-based treatment effectively to ensure it is successful. This knowledge is important for the parents since it can be applied in the event another child has developed anorexia. Besides, family-based treatment helps the family to avoid the huge costs of treating anorexia in a hospital facility (Touchette et al., 2011). The findings of this paper are useful since they can help psychiatrists to improve the family-based treatment. The approach has been proven effective, with a success rate of about 75% of all cases (Touchette et al., 2011). Therefore, future policies on anorexia treatment can be designed according to the family-based treatment.

My Own Life or Clinical Practice Examples that Support My Research Findings

I work in a mid-size health facility in Miami. For three years now, I have worked in the psychiatric unit. In the course of carrying out my nursing duties, I have encountered numerous cases of eating disorders among adolescents. Some patients are placed on the traditional individual-based treatment where they are admitted as inpatients. Other patients, through the intervention of their parents, opt for family-based treatment. Overall, patients who opt for family-based treatment recover faster compared to those under individual-based inpatient treatment. The most notable case of family-based treatment involved a twelve-year-old girl, Tina [real name withheld at her family’s request].

Tina was diagnosed with anorexia in 2013 by her pediatrician. This diagnosis had followed several weeks of acute weight loss. Tina’s parents became alarmed because at 12 years, their daughter would have been gaining weight instead of losing, much like her peers. Tina’s parents quickly arranged for a meeting with a pediatric dietician who would assist Tina to recover her normal body weight. An additional meeting was arranged with a psychologist to offer cognitive-behavioral therapy to Tina. When Tina’s parents discovered that the measures they had taken were not working to reverse her condition, they began seeking alternative help. A friend informed them about the family-based treatment coordinated by our hospital. After adopting Maudsley’s approach, Tina began to regain weight. I had been deployed to assist the family in implementing the program, which I did four times a week.

Tina’s diet comprised high calories, usually double what an average healthy person should consume. Additionally, we took turns in supervising the girl to make sure she took all her meals. Although it was a tiring experience, I was happy to note that she was improving. Sometimes, she would out rightly refuse to eat. We had to cajole her to take even the slightest portion. I observed that as time went on, Tina’s parents had begun appreciating that she needed more affection, as opposed to scolding. Her mother told me in the few days that she had learned that anorexia is a disease of the mind as much as it is of the body. It took 15 months for Tina’s full weight to be fully restored. Now a fifteen-year-old Tina has fully recovered. Her eating habits have become fully normalized. She works part time in a volunteer program run by our hospital that seeks to reach out to adolescents battling with anorexia.


Anorexia has become a serious health concern due to its relatively high incidence and mortality rate. While it is a curable disease, the treatment of anorexia is both expensive and complex. The family-based treatment was developed by Dire and Eisler from Maudsley Hospital London to help adolescents battling with anorexia. Originally based on Minuchin’s concept of family therapy, Maudsley’s approach has become widely adopted due to its success rate. About 75% of all cases of anorexia treated have been successful under the family-based training. This figure is high compared to the traditional individual-based approach. Family-based treatment helps the adolescent to feel more comfortable when they are being attended to by relatives as opposed to strangers in the hospital situation. Importantly, family-based treatment focuses on the underlying relationships in the family. This plan can help to identify the root of the anorexia problem.

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Reference List

Barker, P., & Chang, J. (2013). Basic family therapy. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Chesney, E., Goodwin, G. M., & Fazel, S. (2014). Risks of all‐cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders: a meta‐review. World Psychiatry, 13(2), 153-160.

Couturier, J., Kimber, M., & Szatmari, P. (2013). Efficacy of family‐based treatment for adolescents with eating disorders: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 46(1), 3-11.

Downs, K. J., & Blow, A. J. (2013). A substantive and methodological review of family‐based treatment for eating disorders: the last 25 years of research. Journal of Family Therapy, 35(1), 3-28.

Forcano, L., Álvarez, E., Santamaría, J. J., Jimenez-Murcia, S., Granero, R., Penelo, E.,… & Bulik, C. M. (2011). Suicide attempts in anorexia nervosa subtypes. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 52(4), 352-358.

Godart, N., Berthoz, S., Curt, F., Perdereau, F., Rein, Z., Wallier, J.,… & Corcos, M. (2012). A randomized controlled trial of adjunctive family therapy and treatment as usual following inpatient treatment for anorexia nervosa adolescents. PloS One, 7(1), 28249-28250.

Goldenberg, H., & Goldenberg, I. (2012). Family therapy: An overview. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Hildebrandt, T., Bacow, T., Markella, M., & Loeb, K. L. (2012). Anxiety in anorexia nervosa and its management using family‐based treatment. European Eating Disorders Review, 20(1), 1-16.

Hurst, K., Read, S., & Wallis, A. (2012). Anorexia nervosa in adolescence and Maudsley family‐based treatment. Journal of Counseling & Development, 90(3), 339-345.

Preti, A., Rocchi, M. B. L., Sisti, D., Camboni, M. V., & Miotto, P. (2011). A comprehensive meta‐analysis of the risk of suicide in eating disorders. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 124(1), 6-17.

Silber, T. J., Lyster-Mensh, L. C., & DuVal, J. (2011). Anorexia nervosa: Patient and family-centered care. Pediatric nursing, 37(6), 331-331.

Touchette, E., Henegar, A., Godart, N. T., Pryor, L., Falissard, B., Tremblay, R. E., & Côté, S. M. (2011). Subclinical eating disorders and their comorbidity with mood and anxiety disorders in adolescent girls. Psychiatry research, 185(1), 185-192.


Is an ed a coping mechanism? ›

More often than not, an eating disorder acts partly as a coping mechanism. Many who suffer from anorexia describe the need to “have control over something” in a world where they feel they otherwise do not. The restriction of food may provide a sense of security, structure, or order that feels reassuring.

What is a hypothesis about eating disorders? ›

A hypothesis is presented for eating disorders, based on Darwinian theory, that contends that these syndromes together with the phenomenon of the pursuit of thinness are manifestations of female intrasexual competition.

What does the family have to do with the eating disorder? ›

Some individuals with eating disorders live in or came from families that exhibited dysfunctional or negative behaviors, such as alcohol and drug use. Marital discord, domestic violence and divorce are also not uncommon family issues for those suffering with an eating disorder.

Is bulimia a coping mechanism? ›

Understanding that an eating disorder is a person's coping mechanism helps those around the person to realise how frightening and difficult it is for the person to let it go as they recover.

What are the 4 types of coping mechanisms? ›

Weiten has identified four types of coping strategies: appraisal-focused (adaptive cognitive), problem-focused (adaptive behavioral), emotion-focused, and occupation-focused coping. Billings and Moos added avoidance coping as one of the emotion-focused coping.

What are good coping strategies? ›

What are some common coping strategies?
  • Lower your expectations.
  • Ask others to help or assist you.
  • Take responsibility for the situation.
  • Engage in problem solving.
  • Maintain emotionally supportive relationships.
  • Maintain emotional composure or, alternatively, expressing distressing emotions.
24 Nov 2020

What are some questions about eating disorders? ›

Frequently Asked Questions About Eating Disorders
  • What is an eating disorder? ...
  • How common are eating disorders? ...
  • What is the difference between anorexia nervosa and bulimia? ...
  • What causes an eating disorder? ...
  • Are certain personality traits more common in individuals with eating disorders?

Why is it important to be informed about eating disorders? ›

Awareness can lead to prevention and early diagnosis and treatment. Familiarity with eating disorders can also lead to increased consciousness and empathy for those who are suffering or struggling while decreasing the stigma often associated with these mental illnesses.

Why is it important to know about eating disorders? ›

Eating disorders tend to get worse the longer over time—and if left untreated, they can cause serious long-term health issues. So if you think that someone you know might have an eating disorder, the sooner you express your concerns, the better their chances at recovery.

How successful is FBT? ›

Research on FBT

A study out of the University of Chicago and Stanford7 shows that at the end of a course of FBT, two-thirds of adolescents with anorexia nervosa have recovered; 75 percent to 90 percent are weight-recovered at a five-year follow-up.

Why is family based therapy important? ›

FBT works faster than other treatments and is often more cost-effective. Teens and children with eating disorders often lack the motivation to eat and get better. FBT recognizes this and can work around it. Your child will likely not want to have treatment and that is okay; FBT can work in spite of their resistance.

What is the most important part of treating eating disorders? ›

Psychological therapy is the most important component of eating disorder treatment. It involves seeing a psychologist or another mental health professional on a regular basis. Therapy may last from a few months to years.

How can we stop food as a coping mechanism? ›

To help stop emotional eating, try these tips:
  1. Keep a food diary. Write down what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, how you're feeling when you eat and how hungry you are. ...
  2. Tame your stress. ...
  3. Have a hunger reality check. ...
  4. Get support. ...
  5. Fight boredom. ...
  6. Take away temptation. ...
  7. Don't deprive yourself. ...
  8. Snack healthy.

What are 3 complications of bulimia? ›

Possible complications include:
  • Negative self-esteem and problems with relationships and social functioning.
  • Dehydration, which can lead to major medical problems, such as kidney failure.
  • Heart problems, such as an irregular heartbeat or heart failure.
  • Severe tooth decay and gum disease.
10 May 2018

What part of the brain is affected by bulimia? ›

“Brain activation in the left amygdala was actually significantly greater in the group with a history of bulimia nervosa than in the control group when fed, indicating that taste response in these individuals may be insensitive to the effects of energy metabolism, exaggerating the value of food reward,” said Ely.

What are 3 examples of healthy coping strategies? ›

Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media. ...
  • Take care of yourself. ...
  • Take care of your body. ...
  • Make time to unwind. ...
  • Talk to others. ...
  • Connect with your community- or faith-based organizations.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol.

What are the 7 coping strategies? ›

Here are 7 fundamental coping skills for managing stress:
  • Prioritize sleep, nutrition, and exercise. ...
  • Seek social support. ...
  • Get outside. ...
  • Practice meditation, deep breathing, and muscle relaxation. ...
  • Check your thoughts for negative bias. ...
  • Don't neglect your favorite activities. ...
  • Get professional help.
16 Nov 2020

Which factors improve coping? ›

Factors That Improve Coping

Some important factors that influence coping are social support, optimism, and perceived control: Social support: Many studies show that having good social support correlates with better physical and mental health.

What are two positive coping strategies? ›

Taking care of yourself – getting enough sleep, eating well, being physically active, making time for activities that you enjoy, and avoiding the overuse of alcohol and or “recreational” drugs – will improve your ability to tolerate stress better and recover from stress.

What are the two main coping strategies? ›

Lazarus and Folkman (1984) distinguished two basic coping categories, i.e., problem-focused and emotion-focused coping, as responses aimed at “managing or altering the problem causing the distress” and “regulating emotional responses to the problem,” respectively (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984, p. 150).

What is the most responsible cause of eating disorders? ›

What causes eating disorders? The exact cause of eating disorders is unknown. However, many doctors believe that a combination of genetic, physical, social, and psychological factors may contribute to the development of an eating disorder. For instance, research suggests that serotonin may influence eating behaviors.

What are 3 common reasons why people have eating disorders? ›

Certain factors may increase the risk of developing an eating disorder, including:
  • Family history. Eating disorders are significantly more likely to occur in people who have parents or siblings who've had an eating disorder.
  • Other mental health disorders. ...
  • Dieting and starvation. ...
  • Stress.
22 Feb 2018

Which question is appropriate to ask your clients to start identifying those with eating disorders? ›

The best individual questions for ruling out an eating disorder were: Does your weight affect the way you feel about yourself? (LR−, 0.0; 95% CI, 0.0 to 0.34)

How do you spread awareness about eating disorders? ›

7 Activities to Promote National Eating Disorders Awareness Month
  1. Attend a local event. ...
  2. Avoid commenting on appearance. ...
  3. Sponsor advocacy organizations. ...
  4. Promote body positivity. ...
  5. Share your own story. ...
  6. Check in with friends and family. ...
  7. Educate yourself about eating disorders.
20 Feb 2019

What important factors have researchers identified as causes of eating disorders? ›

Many factors influence whether someone will develop an eating disorder, including genetics, thinking styles—such as perfectionism—body dissatisfaction, and societal or cultural pressures to be thin.

How does an eating disorder affect everyday life? ›

A person with an eating disorder may experience long-term impairment to social and functional roles, and the impact may include psychiatric and behavioural problems, medical complications, social isolation, disability and an increased risk of death as a result of medical complications or suicide.

What is the stigma around eating disorders? ›

The stigma that accompanies eating disorders strips an individual of their quality of life and causes them to have low self esteem resulting in more isolation. You can think of a stigma as a wall between the individual and the help that they need.

Who benefits from FBT? ›

It's generally not actual salary, wages or cash, and the benefit can be something for you, your spouse or your children. Your employer is liable for the tax (FBT) that may apply to the benefits that you and/or your family may receive – not you.

Why is FBT important? ›

The aim of FBT is to help the whole family come together to assist the adolescent with the eating disorder to regain their health and control over their life. Where necessary vital signs and physical wellbeing will be monitored by the clinical nurse consultants of paediatricians.

What is FBT example? ›

A business will have to pay fringe benefits tax if its employees use the business's assets for their own personal enjoyment and enrichment. For example, if someone uses a company car for personal use, or if you reimburse school fees, or if you offer discounted loans from the company, you'll have to pay FBT.

What are the 3 goals of family therapy? ›

Goals of Family Therapy

Develop and maintain healthy boundaries. Facilitate cohesion and communication. Promote problem-solving by a better understanding of family dynamics.

What are the main assumptions of family therapy? ›

There are several basic principles associated with family systems thinking:
  • Everyone involved in a family system both influences the others and is influenced by them. ...
  • Systems have boundaries and can be either open or closed. ...
  • Families develop and change over time. ...
  • The family is greater than the sum of its parts.

What issues are best helped by family system therapy? ›

In addition to family conflict, this treatment approach can be helpful for:
  • Substance use disorder.
  • Alcohol use disorder.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Bipolar disorder.
  • Personality disorders.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Coping with physical disabilities and disorders.
30 Jun 2022

What is the most successful type of therapy for individuals with anorexia nervosa? ›

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been successful in treating several different conditions and is often used for eating disorder recovery.

What are two factors that contribute to eating disorders? ›

Factors that may contribute to eating disorder:
  • Family history of eating disorders.
  • Chemical imbalances that relate to hunger, appetite, and satisfaction.
  • Temperament traits.

What is the most important goal in treating a client with anorexia nervosa? ›

The first goal of treatment is getting back to a healthy weight. You can't recover from anorexia without returning to a healthy weight and learning proper nutrition. Those involved in this process may include: Your primary care doctor, who can provide medical care and supervise your calorie needs and weight gain.

What are 5 unhealthy coping strategies? ›

Some of the most common unhealthy coping mechanisms are:
  • Avoiding issues. ...
  • Sleeping too much. ...
  • Excessive drug or alcohol use. ...
  • Impulsive spending. ...
  • Over or under eating.

How do you heal a relationship with food? ›

10 ways to reset your relationship with food:
  1. Team up with a professional. ...
  2. Try mindful eating. ...
  3. Don't fixate on nutrition. ...
  4. Pay attention to the language you use around food. ...
  5. Start taking 'food risks'. ...
  6. Join a support group. ...
  7. Make sure you're eating enough throughout the day. ...
  8. Don't beat yourself up.
30 Mar 2022

What are 5 negative effects of bulimia? ›

Other effects can include cavities, gum disease, intestinal problems, hair loss, dry skin, sleep problems, stroke, and organ failure. Due to this intense damage to the body, people with bulimia are at risk of death if they do not seek treatment.

What is the most serious consequence of bulimia? ›

Health Consequences of Bulimia Nervosa

Electrolyte imbalances that can lead to irregular heartbeats and possibly heart failure and death. Electrolyte imbalance is caused by dehydration and loss of potassium, sodium and chloride from the body as a result of purging behaviors.

What are 5 characteristics of bulimia? ›

These are the most common symptoms of bulimia:
  • Usually a normal or above average body weight.
  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating and fear of not being able to stop eating.
  • Self-induced vomiting (usually secretive)
  • Excessive exercise.
  • Excessive fasting.
  • Peculiar eating habits or rituals.

What are 2 health problems caused by bulimia? ›

Health Risks of Bulimia
  • Cardiac complications (irregular heartbeat and heart failure stemming from electrolyte imbalances such as potassium, sodium, and chloride)
  • Dehydration.
  • Edema (stemming from periods of purging cessation)
  • Ulcers, pancreatitis.
  • Esophageal inflammation and/rupture, acid reflux (resulting from vomiting)

Does bulimia affect memory? ›

Bulimia nervosa (BN)

When compared to healthy controls, BN patients had less recall and recognition for body-related stimuli. This suggests that BN individuals avoid encoding/processing stimuli related to body image and have a selective memory bias.

Does bulimia change your personality? ›

Bulimia nervosa is similar to anorexia nervosa in that it is also characterized by harm avoidance. Individuals with bulimia nervosa are more likely to exhibit shyness, pessimistic thinking, excessive worry and doubt and are easily fatigued.

Is an ED a mental illness? ›

Although most causes of erectile dysfunction are physical in nature, many cases of ED develop as a result of emotional or psychological issues. When erectile dysfunction is related to a psychological problem, it's referred to as psychological ED, or psychological impotence.

What is an ED behavior? ›

In an eating disorder (ED), the behaviors that may first come to mind include bingeing, purging, restricting, exercise, diet pills, laxatives, chewing and spitting, etc. However, body checking behaviors are just as dangerous and need significant attention in recovery.

Can you get an ED from depression? ›

In fact, men with clinical depression are about twice as likely to develop ED. And one recent study found over 80% of men diagnosed with ED without previous experience of depression reported symptoms of this mental health disorder. This cycle of depression and ED can frustrate men and their partners.

What is ED behavior? ›

Emotional & Behavioral ED Symptoms

Extreme mood swings. Checking in the mirror often. Withdrawing from others, decreased socializing, especially when food is involved. Presenting as hyper-focused on weight, food, calories, nutritional content of food.

What are the 7 examples of disordered eating patterns? ›

Read more about these different types of eating disorders, and how to recognize the symptoms.
  • Anorexia. ...
  • Bulimia. ...
  • Binge eating disorder. ...
  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) ...
  • Pica. ...
  • Other specified feeding and eating disorder (OSFED) ...
  • Orthorexia.
6 Sept 2021

Can a man with ED still come? ›

Results: Ninety-two percent of the men with ED were able to ejaculate at least a few times during sexual stimulation or intercourse. Conclusion: Men with even severe ED claim they can ejaculate during sexual stimulation or intercourse.

What is the most common eating disorder in the world? ›

Eva Schoen, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and clinical director of eating disorders services at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, says binge eating disorder, or BED, is the most common eating disorder, even though it's not talked about as much as other eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia.

What do you think is the solution for the eating disorders? ›

Eating disorders are best treated by a team that includes a doctor, dietitian, and therapist. Treatment includes nutrition counseling, medical care, and talk therapy (individual, group, and family therapy). The doctor might prescribe medicine to treat binge eating, anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns.

What are 4 complications of anorexia? ›

  • Anemia.
  • Heart problems, such as mitral valve prolapse, abnormal heart rhythms or heart failure.
  • Bone loss (osteoporosis), increasing the risk of fractures.
  • Loss of muscle.
  • In females, absence of a period.
  • In males, decreased testosterone.
  • Gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation, bloating or nausea.
20 Feb 2018

What are some personality traits associated with ED? ›

Personality traits commonly associated with eating disorder (ED) are high perfectionism, impulsivity, harm avoidance, reward dependence, sensation seeking, neuroticism, and obsessive-compulsiveness in combination with low self-directedness, assertiveness, and cooperativeness [8-11].

Why does a man get erect in the morning? ›

Your testosterone level is at its highest in the morning after you wake up. It is highest immediately after waking up from the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep stage. The increase in this hormone alone may be enough to cause an erection, even in the absence of any physical stimulation.

Is ED more mental or physical? ›

Most cases of ED have a physical cause, such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Lifestyle choices like smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can also lead to ED. But for some men, psychological issues are the root of the problem.

What percentage of people with eating disorders also have depression? ›

While there is no one exact cause of an eating disorder, we do know that depression can be a risk factor. Research shows that 32-39% of people with anorexia nervosa, 36-50% of people with bulimia nervosa, and 33% of people with binge eating disorder are also diagnosed with major depressive disorder.

What are 3 examples of disordered eating behaviors? ›

Disordered eating may include restrictive eating, compulsive eating, or irregular or inflexible eating patterns. Dieting is one of the most common forms of disordered eating. Australian adolescents engaging in dieting are five times more likely to develop an eating disorder than those who do not diet (1).

How do you differentiate between normal and disordered eating behaviors? ›

It can be normal to think about food when hungry or what one might have for the next meal. For those struggling with an eating disorder, however, the thoughts are generally all-consuming; the individual thinks about calories, taste, food avoidance, or where to buy food, etc.

What are the 3 types of ED? ›

There are several types of ED, four main types are included here (see Table 13):
What are the different types of ED?
  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder.
  • Anorexia nervosa.
  • Bulimia nervosa.
  • Binge eating disorder.

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