Treatment of Orthorexia Nervosa
Recovering from orthorexia is like a challenge. Since orthorexia is still not widely known nor acknowledged, the challenge for nutritionists is to explain the side-effects of the disorder to the client. In India, since the family is still a
strong support system, members can remind the orthorexic of the need for a balanced diet and reinforce this. There are also group motivation techniques, which involve a group of people getting together and working through their obsession collectively.”
There is much conflicting data about food around us today. The confusion is well highlighted in Dr. Steve Bratman’s article (quoted earlier), Health Food Junkie, where he jokes about writing a cook book for ‘eating theorists’: “I could pit the rule of various food theories against each other: Spicy food is bad; red peppers are health promoting. Fasting on oranges is healthy, citrus fruits are too acidic. Milk is good only for young cows (and pasteurized milk is even worse); boiled milk is the food of the gods. Fermented food such as sauerkraut, are essentially rotten, fermented food aid digestion…” And so on.
A deep-rooted eating disorder could take as long as eight to ten months to cure, and in some cases recovery could take as long as one year. However, since the disorder has a huge subjective element, a lot depends on how the patient approaches it. Orthorexics need to first accept that they have a problem and then work towards getting over it.
Since the primary motivation for the orthorexic is to be healthy, there is still hope that he or she will realize the presence of disorder as more information is made available. Eating more healthily should have a positive effect on health without reducing the enjoyment of life or affecting relationships with others. One should remember that there is such a thing as moderation is every pursuit in life- including seeking the health!