ABA Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous
A balanced diet is good for maintaining high quality of life. When individuals lose sight of healthy living, by eating too much or too little, eating disorders can emerge. These are serious conditions that are as addictive as substance abuse.
Unfortunately, anorexia nervosa and bulimia are not solved by eliminating food entirely, like other recovery processes. The only way to decrease behaviours that stem from distorted body image is to implement self-control when eating and exercising. Achieving this is easiest when the problem is identified, the root of addiction is brought to light, healthy coping skills are acquired, and a strong community of support becomes available.
For the purpose of this blog, Disability Living is discussing signs of having an eating disorder and helpful resources to promote independent research. Special 12 step groups exist for individuals with food issues. They have unique elements that serve this community best.
Signs of Anorexia
Anorexia implies an individual has an obsession with food that leads to self-starvation. Many women and some men are “dying to be thin.” As with other addictions, anorexia starts with innocent intentions but takes a turn for the worst when dieting snowballs into constant preoccupation with food. A woman (or man) who shows signs of anorexia may also,
– Refuse to eat and deny hunger.
– Exercise excessively.
– Develop a fear of eating.
– Become preoccupied with food and calorie counting.
– Have a thin appearance, dry skin, and soft hair on the body.
Signs of Bulimia
Bulimia is just as addictive as anorexia. While people struggling with bulimia starve themselves at times, the disease encompasses an individual’s habits of binge eating and purging (ridding the body of excess calories by self-induced vomiting or excessive exercise). The following are signs an individual might be struggling with bulimia; she or he,
– Follows a binge with purging (overeating then vomiting).
– Has a negative body image to the point of distortion.
– Takes frequent trips to the bathroom.
– Uses laxatives.
– Has teeth damage, sores in the throat, swollen salivary glands, and thin appearance.
12 Step Recovery Groups for People with Eating Disorders
Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous (ABA) is a 12 step program adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). These groups address more than surface symptoms of eating disorders. They focus on mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of these behaviours.
Getting appropriate help for food issues is necessary, as these problems can become life threatening. Many people may not think of under-eating as an addiction, but like all other destructive behaviour, this situation can quickly spiral out of control.
For many people, seeking help from ABA is a life or death decision, as the consequences of both anorexia and bulimia can be death. The goal of these groups is to provide guidance for people as they work towards recovery. This link can guide those looking for groups in their areas: http://aba12steps.org/aba-meetings/meetings/canada/
Continue researching support groups for people with eating disorders and learn about the dangers of self-starvation and purging. Also, help loved ones struggling with body image to become aware of surface symptoms of disordered eating. Consider urging this individual to seek professional guidance on the issue.
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