Eating Disorders

eating-disorders

How do I know if I have an eating disorder?

Food plays an important part in our lives, not only does it provide vital sustenance for our bodies, it is also often bound up in important thoughts and feelings, about ourselves, about others and about how we wish to be seen. We think carefully about what we eat in order to look after our health, manage the shape of our bodies and to treat ourselves when we need comforting. Most of us will go through periods of our lives when our eating habits change, perhaps we are feeling stressed and we find we lose our appetite or stop eating properly. Perhaps we are separated from loved ones and find that we are comfort eating more than we are accustomed. These changes in our eating habits tend to be temporary and as such are no real cause for worry and concern. However when there are significant changes in our attitudes and habits around eating and these changes persist we may find that we are developing eating problems and we may need professional support to help us to overcome this.

What is an eating disorder?

A person is thought to have an eating disorder when they have an unusual and unhealthy attitude towards food and where this attitude causes a significant change in that person’s eating habits and their behaviours around eating.

What are the common types of eating disorders?

There are many types of eating disorders; the most common are stated below:

  • Anorexia nervosa:
  • ​where a person is fearful of putting on weight, wishes to be thin and restricts their diet severely in order to achieve this.

  • Bulimia:​
  • where a person has a strong desire to lose weight and where extremes of overeating are followed by fasting, self-induced vomiting or purging.

  • Binge Eating Disorder:
  • ​where a person consumes very large quantities of food over a short period of time even if they are not hungry. Often the person feels compelled to eat in this way even though they can feel terrible and embarrassed about doing so.

How will psychotherapy help me with my eating problem?

Psychotherapy can provide a dedicated and safe space for you to explore your eating problems in greater depth. Your therapist can offer their support in helping you to understand what triggers your eating problems and the underlying dynamics behind it. Your therapist will also be able to assist you in helping you to find more effective ways to manage the difficult thoughts, feelings and behaviours that surround these problems and to make changes to limit any damaging impact that they have upon your life.

The limitations of therapy

Whilst psychotherapy can be a very effective way to treat eating problems there are times where psychotherapy on its own will not be enough. Some forms of eating disorder can be life threatening. Your therapist's first duty is to help you to keep safe. If your therapist feels that you would benefit from more support then a course of stand alone psychotherapy can offer then they will share their thoughts with you and provide advice about what steps you can take to get the support that you need.

To find out more about how psychotherapy can help with your eating problem or to book an initial session with one of our therapists please contact us and one of our team of therapists will be happy to offer their support.

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