What is an Eating Disorder?
Eating disorders can occur in people of all ages and genders. An eating disorder is characterized by abnormal eating habits, eating too much or too little (at times with the use of medications or laxatives, purging or vomiting, etc.) accompanied by excessive concerns about one’s weight and body image. It often is related to other problems like depression, anxiety disorders, or substance abuse.
Millions of individuals in the United States struggle with eating disorders. At Integrated Counseling and Wellness, we have a professional team that can help.
I have experienced incredible growth with the help of my counselor here. Best counseling I have ever had!
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I've seen a dramatic change in my life since beginning my treatment at Integrated Counseling, and I will be forever grateful for my time there.
What Are Some Types of Eating Disorders?
Anorexia Nervosa is one of the most common disorders and is characterized by intentionally starving/restricting calories due to the belief that you are overweight. Those who struggle tend to develop an obsession with losing weight, thus they create dietary restrictions and participate in strenuous exercise routines. No change or weight loss is ever enough and the distorted image persists which fuels more of the same behaviors. Common symptoms of anorexia nervosa are emaciation, fear of weight gain, loss of menstrual periods and impotence in males.
Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by eating excessive amounts of food followed by cleansing the body. This “cleansing” is done by induced vomiting, diuretic or laxative abuse. Based on studies, 50% of anorexia sufferers will also develop Bulimia Nervosa. Some of the more common symptoms of bulimia nervosa are loss of bone mass and muscle, brittle hair and nails, racing heart, erosion of dental enamel on teeth and severe constipation.
The first step of treatment and recovery is admitting that there is a problem. The second is to set up a support group, such as a family member or close friend, who you can trust. Putting together a treatment team with Integrated Counseling and Wellness and working with a medical team to address any health problems caused by the disorder is the next step. They will help you develop a long term treatment plan and help establish strategies to ensure that you understand and learn healthier coping skills.
Relapse is a natural part of any recovery process. Meaning almost never does a person just quickly step through the treatment process without slips and setbacks. The key is to identify and learn from these experiences and account for them the next time you try.
Eating Disorder Support Groups
When dealing with an eating disorder, remember that you are not alone. There are support groups near you. Find more information: www.nationaleatingdisorders.org or speak with your therapist from Integrated Counseling and Wellness about finding the right support group for you. Together you can make a treatment plan that will fit your needs. There is hope! Call today for a free 15 minutes consultation with one of our licensed therapists.