Eating disorders and alcohol addiction are two of the most common mental illness affecting many people, especially the young, today. These may be outcomes of the drastic change of lifestyle among the people nowadays or the influence of media. Also, traumas from the past 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 constitutes a pessimistic mind set towards one’s physical appearance. People with eating disorders are not |necessarily fat. Usually for people with anorexia, the patients are thin and pale. Anorexics are inclined 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 miss out meals and almost eat nothing. They feel at fault 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, people with bulimia are not skinny rather, that could be normal in weight only their view of their body weight is distorted.
The reasons of eating disorder occurrence can be attributed to many factors. One primary factor would be the potent 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. Undeniably, 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 probable cause of eating disorders, most especially among teenagers. We all always have the need 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 sexually abused could greatly slow down 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 makes the human brain similar 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 entail breaking a sort of habit. For anorexics and bulimics, the fixation for weight loss and negative self regard should be eliminated. As for alcoholics, the habit of too much drinking should be discontinued. 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 decrease the symptoms. Cognitive and behavioral therapies are also provided for a full recovery. The patient should not only be able to discontinue the behavior but also should be able to stop the unhelpful thoughts and the distorted mind constructs. Here, the patient is given a possibility to start a new life free from addiction and very low self-esteem.
Eating disorder and alcohol addiction are the two most common illness being faced by our society today especially the younger ones.