Worried About Eating Disorders?
What is it?
Eating is something that can cause a great deal of stress in one’s life. Whether it is eating too much or not enough, thinking about eating and food can be time consuming and distressing. When thoughts about eating feel out of control, treatment can help individuals understand and change their thoughts and behaviors.
Overeating or Binge-eating is consuming a large amount of calories in one sitting. This can cause guilt and anxiety for the individual and is sometimes (but not always) followed by purging (vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, over exercising) as a way to get rid of the calories that were consumed.
Under-eating is consistently consuming fewer calories than needed to maintain health.
- Constant thoughts about food or eating
- Preoccupation with body shape, size, or weight
- Feelings of guilt, shame, worthlessness, or helplessness regarding food
- Feeling irritability when others talk about food
- Binge-eating or overeating
- Not eating enough calories to maintain health
- Purging food that has been consumed through vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, or exercise
- Eating in secret
- Physical problems as a result of over or under-eating or purging
- Thoughts of suicide or making suicide attempts
Body Image can be confusing.
Body image dissatisfaction refers to negative evaluations of one’s body. Negative body image over time can have a strong impact on a person’s well-being. It can affect a person’s social life, self-confidence, and mood. In severe cases, a negative body image can lead to eating disorders or body dysmorphia.
“Body image will feel confusing, overwhelming, and even impossible to heal when you have difficulty differentiating who you are from how you look.” -Emily Fonnesbeck, RD, Nourishing Confidence
Eating disorders do not discriminate.
Despite mainstream misconceptions, eating disorders affect people from all demographics and ethnicities at similar rates. However, those who identify as Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color are shown to receive treatment at lower rates. Eating disorders also affect people of all sexual orientations, body types and gender identities.
“While eating disorders are treatable, they often go undetected. This is in part due to misconceptions about what they are and who they affect, and the cultural normalization of food and weight preoccupation.” -Emily Fonnesbeck, RD, Nourishing Confidence
What can I do about it?
Eating problems are treatable. The most common treatments for eating problems are psychotherapy and medication. Psychotherapy offers people the opportunity to identify the factors that contribute to their eating problem and to deal effectively with the psychological, behavioral, interpersonal, and situational causes.
Other Treatment Options
It is very important for people who may be struggling with eating problems to seek care from a licensed mental health professional that has training and experience in helping people with eating problems.
Links to more info
- Book: 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder Workbook, By Carolyn Costlin & Gwen Schubert Grabb
- Book: Brain Over Binge Recovery Guide. A Simple & Personalized Plan for Ending Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorder, By Kathryn Hansen