Nowadays, two of the most widespread mental illness affecting people particularly the young ones are eating disorder problems and alcohol addiction. These may be outcomes of the severe alteration of lifestyle among the people nowadays or the influence of media. Also, traumatic experiences from the past could greatly add in the occurrence of these mental illnesses. As a basic unit of our society, our families can give 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 negative mind set towards one’s physical form. People with eating disorders are not |essentially fat. Usually for anorexics, the patients are thin and pale. Anorexics tend 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 have anorexia intentionally miss out meals and almost eat nothing. They feel guilty 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.
The reasons of eating disorder occurrence can be attributed to many factors. One leading factor would be the powerful influence of media. Media dictates the standards of society. Media materials produce 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. 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, registers 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 period 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 add to the occurrence of an eating disorder. People, when faced with a very stressful event 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 makes the person to feel pessimistic 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. Alcoholism can be blame on one’s heredity but there can be more reasons. Other factors such as the influence of family, friends, and traumatic experiences could add to alcoholism.
The idea of treating eating disorders and alcoholism is not as treating someone with a headache. These disorders need breaking a sort of habit. For anorexics and bulimics, the fascination for weight loss and negative self regard should be eliminated. 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 lessen the symptoms. Cognitive and behavioral therapies are also given for a full recovery. The patient should not only be able to stop 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 great problems that needs very good treatment.