What Are Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders are complex illnesses comprised of both medical and emotional elements that affect how people perceive food, exercise, body size, shape, weight, and self concept. In America, eating disorders affect over 20 million women and 10 million men. Eating disorders can affect anyone at any age, although the onset tends to occur in adolescence or early adulthood.
What Are The Different Kinds of Eating Disorders?
There are many different types of eating disorders. Anorexia Nervosa refers to clusters of symptoms that may include severe restriction of food coupled with the intense fear of weight gain. Bulimia Nervosa refers to episodes of binge eating accompanied by compensatory behaviors like vomiting, compulsive exercise, or laxative abuse. Binge eating disorder is one of the most common eating disorders, which includes eating large amounts of food in one sitting and feeling out of control. Orthorexia, which is not a formal diagnosis, refers to the preoccupation with eating healthy food and essentially maintaining a ‘perfect’ diet.
Sometimes, people exhibit disordered eating or compulsive exercise, but they don’t formally fit the criteria for an eating disorder. That doesn’t mean they aren’t in distress. Likewise, some symptoms can progress, and early prevention and treatment can be crucial in moving towards a sustainable recovery.
How I Can Help You Recover From An Eating Disorder
Eating disorders can be insidious and difficult, and may indicate a imbalanced desire for control. However, with time, the disorder starts to control you. Getting help may feel scary. You may feel like you’re sacrificing part of your identity or giving up a safety net by entering recovery. You may also feel terrified about the physical changes that are associated with stabilization.
Therapy will help you work through some of these fears. You will learn how to heal from the underlying issues like trauma, low self-esteem, perfectionism, challenging family dynamics, anxiety, depression, or OCD. Eating disorder behaviors tend to originate with a purpose of trying to meet a need or the prevention of intense pain. To safeguard your medical and emotional health, we will explore individualized alternatives to more sustainably meet your needs. Food, weight, appearance, or expectations do not have to define your life. We will work together to help you prioritize both your health and wellbeing. With your permission, I am happy to coordinate with other treatment team members, like your doctor, psychiatrist, or dietitian, to ensure wraparound and supportive care.