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How to Overcome Anorexia

Learn how to overcome the eating disorder anorexia from Allegra Broft, M.D. in this Howcast video about eating disorders.

Transcript

I wish that the answer to the question, how to overcome Anorexia could actually be summarized in a short video on the topic. I actually wish that we as mental health treatment providers had a surefire answer as to how to overcome Anorexia.

The first thing to say about Anorexia nervosa for those of you that are less familiar with the disease, is that it's a really serious psychological illness that is not nearly as simple as asking your loved one to just start eating again. The person really has lost the ability to just do that. That's actually the essence of the illness. And so if it were as simple as stop dieting, you know, we wouldn't have this complicated disorder that we have in Anorexia nervosa.

The first step in how to overcome Anorexia nervosa is really to try to face the illness and try to acknowledge the fact that there's something out of control in the eating patterns and then to try to access a treatment center or a professional who can start to pave the way for a recovery in treatment options. Who can make recommendations as to the type of treatment that might be most effective for the particular person depending on various circumstances related to their Anorexia. Which has to do with a lot of factors, including, notably, severity of illness.

So how to overcome Anorexia involves just putting your foot in the door and trying to start accessing help from a treatment center or a treatment provider, and then can really involve a variety of different types of treatments. Often a very structured inpatient or residential setting can actually be the most effective way to surefire, get a person's health turned around. Because it can be very hard to do the work of trying to restore health when every single bone in a person's and every single neuron in a person's brain is saying 'I don't want to eat, I don't want to eat.' And yet food is medicine in this disorder and the very essence of moving towards recovery ultimately has to mean moving towards eating again. There can be a very complicated set of psychological factors that are going on that drive the Anorexia, and yet on some level nutritional rehabilitation has to be a first and essential component to overcoming Anorexia nervosa.

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