Anorexia and bulimia used to be considered the health problems of some confused young girls with troubled lives real or perceived.
Lately doctors have found that more and more women are being diagnosed with an eating disorder of some kind.
Other misconceptions about eating disorders are that people think that they are psychological problems that can be treated with medication easily and then the person is cured for life.
Neither is true.
In fact, this disorder is not easily treated and the person is left to deal with it affects throughout their lives.
Doctor's believe that hormonal variations occurring near the menopause of a woman may be the reason the eating disorder developed such late in life.
These women see themselves as being overweight despite the fact that they are extremely thin.
These women developing strange eating rituals or eat and regurgitating over and over again.
Body dissatisfaction is the main focus of these women.
For unknown reasons they can't seem to become comfortable in their own skin.
They often believe that their behaviors are secret and no one notices or cares enough to pay attention.
The idea that middle-aged women are having this problem is troubling to physicians as they work hard to try and prevent the disorder in young women.
However, doctors can't be sure if the middle aged women that are receiving treatment are new to the disorder.
The thought is that they had these problems when they were very young and as they got older realized that they should seek treatment.
Complicating things is that these women are finding it difficult to locate proper treatment because for so long the focus was put on the younger woman.
The women that are suffering from anorexia and/or bulimia many times suffer from perfectionism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety.
Substance abuse issues also many times play a role in many cases of both younger and older women.
The most memorable and recent case occurred with a South American woman, a 24 year old teacher weighting only 77 pounds at 5 foot 2 inch tall when she passed away.
You or someone close to you might be suffering from this condition.
It is a very harmful thing to suffer from, and if you suspect that someone is having trouble with an eating disorder then you should immediately take action to intervene.
Do it in a graceful way so that the victim knows that you are looking out for her best interests.
But don't let it go on for any longer than it has to.
Therapists are the most common way to deal with eating disorders, but there are also entire camps and seminars devoted to getting the victims back to regular eating habits.
The treatments include therapy, medication, and counseling and more counseling.
Some others treatments tried are yoga.
Studies have tried to link the two yoga and anorexia but studies were inconclusive and did not produce any significant changes in behavior or eating habits.
Dissonance -based therapy which works as therapy and counseling aimed at the person's competing ideas.
There are group meetings and other more intensive therapies for those with severely dangerous cases of anorexia and/or bulimia.
Many women have been able to make positive life changes to battle their self inflicted disorder and go on to live healthier lives.
It has been reported that these women will have to battle the urges and cravings to purge or starve themselves for the rest of their lives.
Since no cures exist for this disorder it is the hope of therapist and people suffering anorexia and/or bulimia, that some kind of definitive preventive measures can be developed or found.