I am also a earlier suffer of anorexia and bulimia myself (this was the main reason I determined to study all I could about these circumstances and aid myself and other people to get better from it) and as a doctor I have worked with many women struggling with eating disorders. I believe that most eating disorders are learned behavior. It can therefore be unlearned. By behavior I mean not only actions but thought processes and attitudes as well. As with many behavioral problems, early detection often speeds up recovery. Those who admit to their eating problem in the early stage and are frightened that they might continue – often are able to change their destructive eating habits with relative ease.Many of the sufferers I see have already had years of individual psychotherapy. Often their therapists have focused on deep-seated underlying causes, which did not help the women in the here and now. Some sufferers have continued to feel bizarre and alone, even though they were told that their behavior was not uncommon. And there are some who have never admitted to their secret eating behavior. Some therapists favor group therapy but I have found that group therapy is good and helpful only until a certain stage of recovery – the stage of admitting that “Yes, I do have a problem and I do need help”. At this point to continue with treatment people are advised by councilors to come to group therapy where they return again and again, but this is not good. Here is what happens – they all become friends and get close to each other and understand each other. But to continue with the group you have be a member of it, to say it in other words you have to stay the same to continue to belong. Other wise if you recover you have to leave the group and all your friends, but it is difficult for most of sufferers to do this so they prefer just to stay the same and not recover. Programs to Treat Eating Disorders While it is generally true that women in the early stages of an eating disorder recover faster, two factors seem far more relevant. The first involves the level of commitment to change. Second, but of equal importance, are the strategies she employs to overcome the eating disorder. What can she do in the face of all the anxiety? What can she substitute for binge eating, purging or starving herself? If the sufferer can call upon more productive strategies to cope with the stresses of daily life than group therapy, she is on her way to recovery. The commitment to initiate and maintain personal growth through alternative methods is therefore crucial. The best treatment strategy, in my opinion, is when a sufferer is introduced to a special recovery program that they can follow at home. A program that is easy to follow and above all else fun to do. Yes that is correct fun to do, because if it is not fun it becomes a chore and the sufferer will simply stop doing it. But it is also important to be very persistent and consistent with this kind of program so the role of a therapist is to actually make sure that the patient is doing it every day and everything is clear regarding the program. The best program of the self help kind I recommend to my patients was put together by Karen Phillips (A lady who treated her daughter saving her life from anorexia and bulimia by herself). She wrote a book about her method called “Mom Please Help.” www.mom-please-help.com She approached me with it and I was so impressed that I decided to help her get it out to the world. It is a very interesting method which has now helped many people to recover and beat their eating disorders. It fact I have discovered if the program is followed exactly then most sufferers will recover given time and stay recovered. When I was treating myself I had unbeknown used very similar methods to what Karen had used, but it was only when Karen approached me that the penny dropped. She had done what I hadn’t done and that was documenting her every thought, action and words. The simple fact is that eating disorders have been around for decades and conventional treatment has proven itself to be unreliable for just as long. The statistics say that the recurrence rate of eating disorders is very high even after sufferers have gone through all the group therapies, counseling and clinic admissions. You only have to look at the Hollywood stars to see that this is indeed the case. It is now time for a different approach and I truly believe Karen has come up with that new approach. With many victims making enormous advances in a little time to beating their infliction as I have used it and have the results.