Today in the United States one in two hundred women have anorexia and two or three in one hundred endure bulimia. It could be affecting your best friend who on the surface appears to have the world in her grasp and everything going for herself.
Women who endure anorexia or bulimia view themselves clearly with different characteristics than in comparison to women who do not suffer from eating disorders.
Now a new study from the University of Haifa, Soroka Medical Center and Achva Academic College Israel in collaboration have revealed that women who endure or are apt to develop eating disorders can be diagnosed with an easy and non-intrusive self-figure drawing evaluation.
Researchers had examined 76 women, among them 36 had been diagnosed with anorexia or bulimia and twenty had no eating disorders and were considered normal weight. Each of the women had completed two standard questionnaires for the screening of eating disorders and then had been asked to draw themselves. There were no guidelines or limitations placed upon the drawings.
The researchers then analyzed the drawings and discovered numerous difference between the groups in four aspects. Women with eating disorders drawings revealed the following:
They seem to draw a larger neck, unattached neck or no neck at all.
The mouth is more apparent in the drawings.
The thighs are drawn wide.
The feet in the drawings or either unattached or no feet are drawn at all.
The study also had found that the self-figure drawings can make a distinction between anorexic and bulimic women. Women with anorexia were more apt to eliminate breasts from their drawings, drew less detailed lines and smaller figures associated to page size.
In order to evaluate the accuracy of the drawing test, the more assertive results were compared to two standardized eating disorder tests. A very strong association was found between all the tests.
Professor Rachel Lev-Wiesel, Head of the Graduate School of Creative Art Therapies at the University of Haifa and one of the research writers stated that women enduring eating disorders most of the time hide their condition even from professional therapists. They find it hard to talk about their problem. Therefore a non-intrusive, non-verbal tool like a simple self drawing can be a vital tool in creative art therapy.
The main sign of anorexia is severe weight loss. People with this condition could try to lose weight by greatly limiting how much food they consume. They also could tend to over exercise. Some people can even indulge in binging and purging such as in bulimia. They will insist they are overweight.
Physical signs besides excessive weight loss:
Scanty or absent menstrual periods
or swollen hands and feet
Bloated or upset stomach
Downy hair covering the body
Abnormal heart rhythms
Psychological and Behavior Signs:
perception of self (insisting they are overweight when they are thin)
Being preoccupied with food
Refusing to eat
Inability to remember things
Refusing to acknowledge the seriousness of the illness
Some risk factors include:
Sports or professions which tend to lean towards having a thinner body such as dance, gymnastics, modeling and acting.
Having a hard time handling stress
Experiencing major life changes such as moving.
The most successful treatments involve a variety of treatments such as psychotherapy, family therapy and medication. Remember that most people with anorexia believe they do not need treatment and have the situation under control. Even if they do admit they need treatment this condition can be a lifetime battle. People stay vulnerable to relapsing when going through stressful times in their lives.
There are no medications designed to treat anorexia. At times a practitioner may prescribe antidepressants to treat depression which accompanies anorexia.
Herbs are usually safe way to help your body gain strength and improve the bodies systems. Check with your practitioner before using any herbs. Some herbs can cause interactions with certain medications.
Some herbs have included:
Ashwagandha at 450 mg each day at once or twice daily. It provides general health benefits and decreases stress.
Catnip as a tea, two or three times each day. Catnip will calm the nerves and soothe digestion.
Hypnosis can aide in part of the overall treatment. It could help the person by strengthening their self confidence and coping ability. This could help end up in healthier eating habits, improved body image and a greater self-esteem.
Help For Anorexia