20 million American women; 10 million American men. Not just numbers or statistics, they represent the individuals that suffer, sometime during their lives, a clinically significant eating disorder. As one of the more confounding and complicated mental health issues, clinical eating disorders often require comprehensive and individualized treatment plans that can often last for years. Being inextricably linked to a person’s sense of self-worth, eating disorders requirethe utmost patience, time and intense understanding as every patient who seeks treatment has their own unique challenges, emotional scars and mental history that has contributed to their illness. Families of those who suffer from the disorders are often dismayed and confused as they look for answers, often blaming themselves for not recognizing the symptoms of their loved one’s eating disorder and helping sooner. For those questioning whether their loved one is developing a serious eating disorder, it is important to recognize these telltale signs:
- Intense and irrational fear of weight gain.
- Obsession with food and weight.
- Extreme restriction of calorie intake and inadequate food intake (in restrictive type of Anorexia).
- Self esteem related to body image.
- Inability to see their body as it is.
- Binging and purging of food (in Binge/purging type of Anorexia). Often signaled by odd eating patterns and frequent trips to the bathroom).
Binge Eating Disorder
- Periods of consumption of very large amounts of food but without the self-induced vomiting seen in Bulimia Nervosa
- Feelings of shame and guilt regarding eating behaviors
- Eating when not hungry, to the point of discomfort or pain and eating alone and at odd hours.
- Feeling out of control during these periods.
- Periods of consumption of very large amounts of food, often followed by vomiting or purging.
- Self-esteem overly connected to body image.
- Other out of control feelings or behaviors during the binge eating periods.
Eating Disorder Treatment
You can be free of obsessive thoughts about your body that cause you pain through comprehensive eating disorder treatment. You can have relief from the emotional bonds that keep you in an endless cycle of starving, binging and purging, and excessive exercise. You can experience self-acceptance and joy. As your therapist, I will help guide you through healing from your disordered eating. This involves healing from past painful relationships or trauma, understanding your eating disorder and it’s function in your life, and learning to live with healthier eating habits. With my support, you will feel the strength to let go of your eating disorder bringing in healthier and happier you.