Eating disorders and alcohol addiction are two of the most common mental illness affecting many people, especially the young, today. These may be products of the severe alteration of lifestyle among the people nowadays or the influence of media. Moreover, traumatic experiences from the past could greatly contribute in the occurrence of these mental illnesses. The family, being the basic unit of society, all the more has the greatest impact on both the occurrence and the possible treatment of these problems.
A distortion of one’s self-image is the main reason why a person resorts to eating disorders. You can actually partially forget eating habits and food intake. This constitutes a pessimistic mind set towards one’s physical appearance. People with eating disorders are not |necessarily fat. Usually for anorexics, the patients are skinny and pale. Anorexics are likely to think that they are very fat that they should exercise more and eat lesser, even though in reality they tend to be very thin to the point of becoming malnourished. People who are anorexic intentionally skip meals and almost eat nothing. They feel at fault when they eat. Even worse, just the mere act of thinking about food makes them guilty. They become obsessed of eating less or nothing. On the other hand, another eating disorder called bulimia entails binge eating. Habitual binge eating and forceful vomiting characterize bulimia. Usually, bulimic are not skinny rather, that could be normal in weight only their insight of their body weight is distorted.
Various factors could contribute to the occurrence of eating disorders. One primary factor would be the powerful influence of media. Media dictates the standards of society. Media materials make an image of a beautiful woman through a skinny model and a hot and handsome guy through a male model with full abs and biceps. Undeniably, people watch T.V. more than they do their household chores. It may be an exaggeration but the point is people watch television almost everyday. Thus, what media shows, psychologically, records into their mind set and later on influences their behaviors. Moreover, peer pressure is also one probable cause of eating disorders, most especially among teenagers. Young people have the urge to belong. It is during this phase that young boys and girls are still in the route of knowing their selves and trying to find their place in society. And the people that surround them matters so much that most likely, they end up giving efforts to be accepted. Lastly, traumatic experiences during the past may contribute to the occurrence of an eating disorder. People, when they are in a very stressful episode which they feel they could no longer face, usually choose to doing unhealthy behaviors. Traumatic experiences such as being physically abused could greatly lessen one’s self-esteem. Lower self-esteem in turn allows the person to feel pessimistic towards the self- a very likely candidate for anorexia or bulimia.
Alcohol intake can also give anyone trauma for taking in excessively. With alcohol addiction, a glass of wine a week becomes a glass of wine a day or worse. Alcohol is a sedative-hypnotic drug that acts on the human brain akin to other sedative-hypnotic drugs such as the barbiturates and benzodiazepine tranquilizers. They say alcoholism is genetic but this may not be the only cause. Other factors such as the influence of family, friends, and traumatic experiences could add to alcoholism.
Treating both eating disorders and alcoholism is not as easy as treating someone with cough or colds. These disorders require breaking a sort of habit. For anorexics and bulimics, the fascination for weight loss and negative self regard should be eradicated. As for alcoholics, the habit of excessive drinking should be discontinued. How are these dealt with? Usually, treatment and rehabilitation centers give medical and psychological treatment. Withdrawal symptoms are handled by providing substitute drugs that would decrease the symptoms. Cognitive and behavioral therapies are also given for a full recovery. The patient should not only be able to discontinue the behavior but also should be able to stop the negative thoughts and the distorted mind constructs. Here, the patient is given a chance to start a new life free from addiction and very low self-esteem.
Eating disorder and alcohol addiction are great problems that needs very good treatment.