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. Also, traumas from the long-ago could greatly add 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.
Eating disorders are not merely a dysfunction in its eating habits and food intake but it is more of a distorted self-image. This makes up a negative mind set towards one’s physical form. People with eating disorders are not |essentially fat. Usually for people with anorexia, the patients are thin and pale. Anorexics are likely to think that they are very plump 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 guilty when they eat. Even worse, just the mere action 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.
The reasons of eating disorder occurrence can be attributed to many factors. One primary factor would be the powerful influence of media. Media dictates the standards of society. Media materials create a picture of a beautiful woman through a skinny model and a hot and handsome guy through a male model with full abs and biceps. It cannot be denied that people watch T.V. more than they do their household chores. It may be an overstatement but the point is people watch television almost everyday. Thus, what media shows, psychologically, chronicles into their mind set and later on influences their behaviors. Moreover, peer pressure is also one possible cause of eating disorders, most especially among teenagers. Young people have the urge to belong. It is during this period that young boys and girls are still in the process 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 add to the occurrence of an eating disorder. People, when faced with a very stressful episode which they feel they could no longer face, usually opt to doing unhealthy behaviors. Traumatic experiences such as being physically abused could greatly lower one’s self-esteem. Lower self-esteem in turn allows the person to feel negatively towards the self- a very likely candidate for anorexia or bulimia.
Another resort for traumatic experiences is excessive and unhealthy alcohol intake. 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 like 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 obsession for weight loss and negative self regard should be eliminated. As for alcoholics, the habit of too much drinking should be ended. How are these dealt with? Usually, treatment and rehabilitation centers supply medical and psychological treatment. Withdrawal symptoms are handled by providing substitute drugs that would lessen 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.