Eating disorder is a mental disorder which is one of the most difficult to treat. Patients with an eating disorder often take their lives by the disease, mainly due to extreme malnutrition or lethal arrhythmia caused by imbalanced minerals.
The cause of the eating disorder is still under discussion. It is highly likely that some diet-oriented cultures contribute to developing an eating disorder. On the other hand, some genetic factors are also suggested to influence the onset of the disease.
Anyway, normalized diet is essential to overcome the eating disorder. Withdrawing inappropriate dieting is the first step, as the article below mentions.
The Conversation: Eating disorders are hard to overcome, but ditching diets is crucial
However, it is not an easy task for patients to adhere to the direction of the therapist. They are suffering from fear of gaining weight and perfectionism. In most cases, a direct order to drop out the diet fails to be realized by the patient.
Therefore, a step-by-step approach is crucial for successful treatment. First, the therapist has to listen to the patient's voice for an adequate term. Actually, patients with low body weight often have memory deficiency, and they fail to memorize the suggestions of the therapist. Establishing the patient-therapist relationship should be prioritized in any cases unless the physical status of the patient is critical.
The second step is behavior modification. The goal is to omit improper diet. But to accomplish healthy dieting, patients should be guided with emotional understanding. A series of behavioral experiments is effective to change the behavior. For example, if a patient identifies her body weight did not change after drinking a cup of milk additionally, her fear of loss of the control will be mitigated.
The third step is enhancing self-esteem, as the article says. Lowered self-esteem is usually associated with excessive concern about the body image. Patients should learn that they can be efficacious regardless of their body shape. But, this stage is located at almost the last in the ladder of treating the eating disorder.