There are a number of mental health problems that often go unnoticed around the globe, especially disorders dealing with weight. In America, weight is a major concern for women as well as men, although male eating disorders are not usually spotted unless it involves overeating. The social stigmas surrounding weight in this country can cause people to feel inadequate which can prompt people to turn to unhealthy practices. Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia (binge eating and purging) are perhaps some of the hardest conditions to treat and if left untreated can be fatal.
Eating disorders often go hand in hand with substance abuse; drugs and alcohol often help people with eating disorders cope with the pain and guilt associated with the disorder which leads to addiction. Co-occurring disorders that involve Anorexia, Bulimia, and overeating are the hardest to treat due to the complex nature of eating related diseases. After years of training one’s mind and body to not crave food as well convincing oneself that they could always look better is hard to alter.
According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders:
- Almost 50% of people with eating disorders meet the criteria for depression.
- Only 1 in 10 men and women with eating disorders receive treatment. Only 35% of people that receive treatment for eating disorders get treatment at a specialized facility for eating disorders.
- Up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder) in the U.S
- Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness
Fortunately, effective treatments for eating disorders modeled in 12 step format are available across the country. Many men and women who work a program of recovery have found that they can lead a healthy life and be comfortable with their image.