The problem with treating anorexia patients is that although they are obviously suffering from an eating disorder, they would deny having any kind of sickness. They would continue to starve themselves and obsess about their weight, convincing themselves that they are fat when it is obvious to everybody else that they are underweight, to the point of being merely skin and bones.Â
These people have an abnormal fear of getting fat, and to avoid getting fat, they would do almost anything, taking on activities that tax their bodies severely. These activities could be in the form of exercising excessively, dieting to extreme lengths, and taking laxatives. They eat hardly anything and are unable to concentrate on anything other than their weight.
While there are no scientific reasons that can be found for this eating disorder, we do not even know what makes them abnormally afraid of gaining weight. Whatever the causes of this condition, anorexics should be treated immediately before they deteriorate further.
Anorexia patients require long-term counseling, which is part of psychotherapy. This regimen should be enforced with nutritional and medical support. The methods that would be utilized by the psychotherapist will vary depending on the seriousness of the patient’s condition.
The counseling should focus not only on the eating disorder, but should also delve into the psychological or cultural causes which may have brought about the disorder. The main aim of the psychological counseling is to identify ways by which the patient can be directed back to a normal and healthy way of life.
The role of the family is important in treating the anorexic person. Close family members should constantly monitor the patient and encourage him to eat properly. They should reassure him repeatedly that he does not need to lose weight to earn the love of his family and friends.
The patient should be put under the care of a professional who has sufficient experience in dealing with anorexia and other eating disorders. Since anorexics are susceptible to other medical problems, they should also be monitored by a medical professional working in coordination with the psychotherapist.