Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anorexia Nervosa
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia nervosa is a psychological and an eating disorder which is characterized by abnormal body weight and a distorted perception of weight.
Such emotional and distorted behaviour can be managed through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It is an intervention for post hospitalisation of an anorexia nervosa patient to prevent the relapse of such behaviour.Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anorexia Nervosa
Major Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa Patient
Anorexia Nervosa is an extreme emotional fear of a person to gain weight. Such a person out of unreasonable fear of gaining even slight weight loses confidence.
They exercise excessively and decrease their food intake level leading to severe malnourishment, diseases and even death.
It is mostly seen as a problem in young adults and in late teenagers and adolescents.
We will first discuss the physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms of anorexia nervosa patient.
The physical symptoms through which a behaviour therapist can identify such patients are:-
Person’s pale yellow skin and bad physical appearance caused by dehydration in the body due to less intake of nutritious food and fluids.
The problem of insomnia caused due to lack of sleep, sleep disturbance and irregularity. It can also be due to less eating food and hunger pangs.
Fatigueness and dizziness due to less physical strength and sleep deprivation and food deficiency.
Low haemoglobin and blood pressure as a result of low blood cells leading to a severe case of anaemia.
Dehydration issues as the body are deprived of essential food, water and fluids.
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Low intake of food means no smooth bowel movement, as a result, causing constipation and abdominal pain.
Thinning of hair and dry skin and weak bones.
Some of the behavioural and emotional symptoms of anorexia nervosa patients are:-
They are very nagging and crib over a slight weight gain. It causes them huge stress, anxiety, insecurity and depression in them.
They slowly withdraw from their social life and circle.
Anorexia patients usually skip meals and refuse to eat meals. They only prefer low calorie and less fat diets. As a result, they get deprived of essential nutrients and vitamins available through these foods.Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anorexia Nervosa
They check their physical appearance in the mirrors after every few minutes as they are insecure about their body shape.
They get into binge eating and even induce self vomiting to get rid of the food eaten by them. They buy various diet aids and products from the market which is harmful to health.
They avoid eating in public spaces and social gatherings and also excuses not to eat.
Such habits and behaviour can lead to anaemia, heart attack, decreased level of testosterone in men, irregular periods in women, PCOD problem, thyroid issues, osteoporosis, kidney infection, personality disorder, mood disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, substance abuse, self-harm, a major deficiency in body etc.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for the Anorexia Nervosa patients
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is used for the anorexia nervosa patient after their admission in the hospital. It prevents relapse of such condition in the patient.
It helps in the achievement of a healthy weight through proper diet and establishes a pattern of healthy eating, regular eating and exposure to foods forbidden by the patient.
This therapy is designed by keeping in mind the eating disorder symptoms of a person. It influences the behaviour, thoughts of a person to act in a particular way.
Distorted cognitive behaviour of a person is being normalised through addressing eating disorders and other important aspects.
Important key points of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy used for Anorexia nervosa patient is based on the age factor, history of patient and type of disorder.
Cognitive therapy used for a particular person may not be suitable for another person.
It helps in recovery of an eating disorder, thinking, behaviour and BMI (Body Mass Index) of a person.
One has to go through all the four stages of this therapy for complete healing and recovery otherwise condition may relapse.
The body weight is regularly monitored by the therapist to ensure proper treatment.Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anorexia Nervosa
After an initial assessment of the patient, the proper sessions start for him.
There should be no intervention while the treatment is taking place.
Sessions must be scheduled and taken regularly for a fixed length of time.
Four stages of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Eating Disorder
The following are the four stages of cognitive behavioural therapy for people with Anorexia disorder.
Stage 1 – It is an intensive stage where the appointments are initially fixed twice in a week. It includes weighing the person and regular eating for a period of four weeks and eight sessions.
Stage 2 – In this stage, a person goes through a transitional phase where his health progress is being reviewed. Some major changes related to health and interventions take place in this crucial stage.
Stage 3 – In this stage, the therapist works upon the eating disorder and address the issues and symptoms of it over a period of eight weeks and eight sessions.
Stage 4 – This is a stage of planning future in such a way for the patient so that their condition does not relapse. It is a six weeks stage and appointments are made in every two weeks. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anorexia Ne