A person with an eating disorder may focus excessively on their weight and shape, leading them to make unhealthy choices about food with damaging results to their health.
TYPES OF EATING DISORDERS
Eating disorders include a range of conditions that can affect someone physically, psychologically and socially. The most common eating disorders are:
Anorexia Nervosa – when someone tries to keep their weight as low as possible, for example by starving themselves or exercising excessively
Bulimia – when someone tries to control their weight by binge eating and then deliberately being sick or using laxatives (medication to help empty their bowels)
Binge Eating – when someone feels compelled to overeat
Some people, particularly young people, may be diagnosed with an eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). This is means you have some, but not all, of the typical signs of eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.
EATING DISORDER TREATMENT
If you think you might have an eating disorder, it can be a difficult and daunting prospect to accept that professional advice and treatment might be needed. However, the earlier you seek help, the faster and more likely you are to successfully overcome your illness and regain a healthy attitude towards eating.
Eating disorders are treatable and at Wise Blue Owl Therapy Centre we have a wealth of knowledge, understanding and support for you. Step by step assisting you to work towards making the necessary changes in your life. When you feel ready now to take that step call us on 017843 92449 or email for professional, confidential help and support we are sure you feel you need.
Treatment usually involves monitoring a person’s physical health while helping them to deal with the underlying psychological causes. This may involve:
Using self-help manuals and books, possibly under guidance from our therapist.
Psychotherapy – a talking therapy that focuses on relationship-based issues and on how a person’s personality and life experiences influence their current thoughts, feelings, relationships and behaviour.
Hypnotherapy – works on the premise that your eating and behaviour patterns will have developed over time, and so together our hypnotherapist will examine the root cause of your problem and the emotions accociated with it. We will then work with you to develop new, healthier patterns of behaviour and ways of eating, leading to increased self-confidence and body image.
Tapping ( Emotional Freedom Technique – EFT) This is known ast the tapping therapy and his hugely beneficial with eating disorders. EFT’s long term successes are due to its ability to address the true cause of most eating disorders … namely … the need to “tranquilize” anxiety caused by unresolved emotional issues. Until one’s underlying anger, fear, guilt, trauma, etc. are dissipated, the eating disorder will remain. EFT is ideally designed to collapse these issues (that is what it does best) and, the need to tranquilize disappears.
CAUSES OF EATING DISORDERS
Eating disorders are often blamed on the social pressure to be thin, as young people in particular feel they should look a certain way. However, the causes are usually more complex.
There may be some biological or influencing factors, combined with an experience that may provoke the disorder, plus other factors that encourage the condition to continue.
Risk factors that can make someone more likely to have an eating disorder include:
having a family history of eating disorders, depression or substance misuse
being criticised for their eating habits, body shape or weight
being overly concerned with being slim, particularly if combined with pressure to be slim from society or for a job (for example ballet dancers, models or athletes)
certain characteristics, for example, having an obsessive personality, an anxiety disorder, low self-esteem or being a perfectionist
particular experiences, such as sexual or emotional abuse or the death of someone special
difficult relationships with family members or friends
stressful situations, for example problems at work, school or university
DO I HAVE AN EATING DISORDER?
Doctors sometimes use a questionnaire called the SCOFF questionnaire to help recognise people who may have an eating disorder. This involves asking the following five questions:
Sick: Do you ever make yourself sick because you feel uncomfortably full?
Control: Do you worry you have lost control over how much you eat?
One stone: Have you recently lost more than one stone (six kilograms) in a three-month period?
Fat: Do you believe yourself to be fat when others say you are too thin?
Food: Would you say that food dominates your life?
If you answer “yes” to two or more of these questions, you may have an eating disorder.
SPOTTING AN EATING DISORDER IN OTHERS
It can often be very difficult to realise that a loved one or friend has developed an eating disorder.
Warning signs to look out for include:
missing meals complaining of being fat, even though they have a normal weight or are underweight repeatedly weighing themselves and looking at themselves in the mirror, making repeated claims that they have already eaten, or they will shortly be going out to eat somewhere else cooking big or complicated meals for other people, but eating little or none of the food themselves only eating certain low-calorie foods in your presence, such as lettuce or celery feeling uncomfortable or refusing to eat in public places, such as a restaurant the use of “pro-anorexia” websites
If you are concerned about a friend or family member, it can be difficult to know what to do. It is common for someone with an eating disorder to be secretive and defensive about their eating and their weight, and they are likely to deny being unwell.
If you would like to explore further about eating disorders and how we can help you at Wise Blue Owl Therapy Centre, then please contact us.