Monday, February 27, 2012

Understanding Anorexia - How to deal with this Eating Disorder

Understanding Anorexia is very important in managing this disease. Without the proper knowledge about it, it won’t be taken seriously as a life threatening medical condition. The incidence of anorexia has become alarming. We often hear this disorder affects those in the entertainment and modeling industries where many women think when they’re skinny, they’re beautiful. In fact, there are already celebrities who have died from anorexia. Yes, it’s not wrong to look beautiful but beauty and health are synonymous. Anorexia is not healthy. You are not beautiful if you’re not mentally and physically healthy, plain and simple. You should face and not take your health for granted.

Anorexia often first appears among teenagers. Understanding anorexia nervosa is the first step in order to deal with it properly. If you suspect that you are suffering from this eating disorder or someone whom you care is, here are some tips on how to deal with anorexia nervosa:

Do your Homework. Research about Anorexia
Search online for articles written by people who had this eating disorder and check on the bad effects it had to their bodies. This way you’ll get a better view of anorexia. Stay away from people who are practicing improper eating habits or websites that promote anorexia so you won’t be influenced into doing the same thing. You may even try to start blog writing about your condition to share your experience and help other people who are struggling with anorexia.

Understanding Anorexia as a disorder of Thoughts, Emotions and Behaviors
 You should learn to acknowledge that the problem with anorexia is medical, physical and mental dysfunction. The most difficult part in suffering with an eating disorder is admitting you have a problem. Most people with anorexia are fascinated in becoming thin and not taking into consideration their health. Try to ask a trusted person that you know to give an honest opinion about your current weight or your physical appearance as a whole. Upon knowing the reality, this can be the starting point to your healing and recovery.

Make your Day fun and exciting
When you’re socially engaged, this will distract your mind from thinking of being fat. Try to avoid being alone so you’ll not feel sad and lonely. Isolating allows you to engage in harmful behaviors. Start exercising and socializing instead of starving yourself.

Set an Appointment with a Board Certified Psychiatrist
It would be a wise decision to pick up the phone and call a professional health care provider if you think you are suffering from anorexia. Ask for your family and/or friend’s support in getting treatment for this eating disorder. If you know someone who has anorexia, offer to accompany them on their next visit to the doctor so you can give them your moral support. Knowing that you’ll get the full support of your love ones is very important in dealing with this disorder. To prevent serious consequences it is advisable to address this disorder as early as possible.

Anorexia Nervosa is a mental health issue and eating disorder where a person is obsessed in losing weight through not eating. This disease will definitely affect the health of the person suffering from anorexia. It may lead to malnutrition and can be deadly if not treated right away. You should discover ways on how to deal with this eating disorder. Treatment includes medical management, medications, nutritional support and psychotherapy to get rid of it for good. It may not be an easy task but when it is detected early, it can save you from suffering and permanent complications.

Understanding Anorexia is important. Take control of your life if you want to stop anorexia nervosa. It can be very challenging but control of your life instead of your food is healthy and life saving.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mental Health Issues in the Black American Community

Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman” was my banner song during the last year of my psychiatric residency training. She gave me a sound track that became part of my identity. Watching the Grammy Awards Night was tremendously painful; we lost an American Treasure…a Black American Treasure

As a Black American myself, we should learn and recognize that taking care of ourselves is very important. It is clear that Whitney Houston suffered from mental health issues that sadly most people ignore.

Why? Because…Mental health treatment is a taboo subject to Black Americans because of fear and misunderstanding. No one would like to admit that their family member or family is seeking psychiatric treatment(s).

Instead of seeking professional mental healthcare, Black Americans often rely on religious institutions, family members, or self diagnosis. This prevents the community as a whole from accessing available programs and treatments.

I am not saying that it is wrong to seek spiritual help, but when mental health issues are involved, this should be in conjunction with psychiatric and psychosomatic medications to recover from the problem. It is not a sin to use drugs, to feel suicidal, to not sleep, to not take care of your family, and to behave improperly. These are mental issues that are highly treatable and can be rapidly treated and resolved. 

A recent published poll revealed Black Americans in response to emergency situations, call a family member first rather than 911. These kinds of health care decisions and fears of healthcare professionals keep us from being a vibrant and healthy community.

Gone is our collective history of sacrifice, adversity, and talent. We must learn how to take care of ourselves and not to just run to a preacher who might be less than helpful. We must use all available resources including mental health services, primary medical care, and social institutions like our churches and faith based groups. 

Culturally competent minority physicians can be hard to find, but we are here. Word of mouth and Google searches are a good start. Get help for your mental health issues if you need one and know that we can take care of our own.

Rest in peace…Whitney.