Do you or someone you love feel that food has started to control your life? While most eating disorders do not fit into a specific category, sometimes it can be helpful to understand the symptoms that you are experiencing, find the treatment approach that most effectively treats them, and gain freedom of your life and your wellbeing once more!
Over 30 million women and men struggle with some form of disordered eating: anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder (source: www.nationaleatingdisorders.org). According to statistics found through ANAD:
- Almost 50% of people with eating disorders meet the criteria for depression.
- Only 1 in 10 men and women with eating disorders receive treatment.
- Only 35% of people that receive treatment for eating disorders get treatment at a specialized facility for eating disorders.
- Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
Here’s the good news: with experienced, sufficient and effective treatment, you can recover from an eating disorder and live a fulfilling and happy life!
Do you struggle with Anorexia Nervosa? Many experts have found that early intervention can drastically increase the rate of recovery for those with anorexia. Here are some signs that you may be struggling with this disorder:
- Inadequate food intake leading to a weight that is clearly too low.
- Intense fear of weight gain, obsession with weight and persistent behavior to prevent weight gain.
- Self-esteem overly related to body image.
- Inability to appreciate the severity of the situation.
- Binge-Eating/Purging Type involves binge eating and/or purging behaviors during the last three months.
- Restricting Type does not involve binge eating or purging. (source: NEDA)
What does life in recovery from Anorexia Nervosa look like?
- No rules about “good/bad” foods
- Eating intuitively to nourish your body and your soul
- Finding the healthy weight that your body naturally wants to be and feeling good in your skin
- Feeling safe to experience and regulate all of your emotions
- Setting boundaries that feel safe and good to you
- Not having food be the focus of your day or life — actually doing things that you enjoy!!
- And So Much More!!
Psychotherapy For Anorexia Nervosa
While anyone who struggles with an eating disorder has their own unique story and background, there are some common factors that need to be addressed to ensure that a healthy recovery is a strong possibility. When working with anorexia, I utilize a holistic approach that addresses the complexities of this disorder: are there any physical complications as a result of this disorder? Have the symptoms of anorexia impacted your ability to focus, concentrate, remember things, or engage in conversations? Are there any distorted thoughts about your body or someone else’s body? I carefully assess for factors in your story that might contribute to the disorder: any trauma, loss, abuse, or environmental factors that may have impacted your self-concept. While food is certainly an important component to recovery from Anorexia Nervosa and I work with nutritionists to promote optimal health, I know that the “inner hunger” is much deeper and is only satiated by self-love, acceptance, and esteem. Restoring weight and coming up with a healthy eating plan are initial steps in feeding the body as well as the brain so that the therapeutic process can be as effective as possible.