Eating Disorders

What are common types of eating disorders treated at be.Well and how can I tell if I need to be treated for my disordered eating?

Disordered eating and a diagnosable eating disorder are similar but not exactly the same thing. One can struggle with their relationship with food, and even use it as a coping skill and still not be classified as having an eating disorder. A be.Well therapist can help with disordered eating, unhealthy relationships with food and body image, and also with the diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders.

An eating disorder is a condition classified by severe and persistent disturbances in eating habits caused by and/or causing distressing thoughts and emotions.

Types of eating disorders include:

  • anorexia/ restrictive eating
  • bulimia/ binge eating
  • orthorexia/ obsession with healthy eating

What are common symptoms of an eating disorder?

Signs and symptoms of eating disorders can include the physical, emotional, and behavioral, but there isn’t an all encompassing checklist to use. Everyone is different and everyone’s eating disorder can manifest differently. If you or a loved one is struggling with any or all of these symptoms, a be.Well therapist is here to help determine if you are struggling with an eating disorder and may be able to help you manage your negative thoughts and feelings while developing healthier habits surrounding food.

Emotional and behavioral symptoms that can indicate an eating disorder

  • An overall preoccupation with gaining or losing weight, dieting, or food
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety caused by social settings where food is present or when not in control of making one’s own food/menu/meal planning
  • Refusal to eat certain foods, at certain times of the day, or other restrictive behaviors
  • Being uncomfortable eating around others
  • Planning one’s meals out in advance/ridgid meal planning
  • Excessive counting of calories or grams of certain types of foods
  • Food rituals, like only eating certain types of foods or certain colors
  • Frequent body checking or looking in the mirror at one’s body
  • Withdrawal from friends or social gatherings

Physical symptoms that can indicate an eating disorder

  • Extreme weight loss or weight gain
  • Hair loss
  • Insomnia
  • Dental issues
  • Stomach cramping, pain, constipation etc.
  • Menstrual irregularities or losing one’s period
  • Dizziness, brain fog, poor concentration, and/ or fainting
  • Fine body hair
  • Weak immune system or prolonged wound healing
  • Feeling cold all the time
  • Cuts on or along the knuckles (from inducing vomiting)
  • Dry skin and brittle nails

If you or someone you love struggles with any of these symptoms, it indicate an eating disorder. Having some of these symptoms could also indicate a negative body image or a disordered relationship with food. A be.Well therapist can help you make sense of these feelings and give you the proper tools and coping mechanisms for the underlying issues that may be causing these negative feelings.

How can therapy help with an eating disorder?

Individual psychotherapy, like that at be.Well, works to create an environment where the patient feels supported, so that the patient and the therapist can explore root causes and work to change the disruptive eating behaviors.

More often than not, eating disorders are not only problems about weight or food, but rather a coping mechanism for other psychological issues that need to be addressed, such as trauma, grief, a feeling of lack of control in one’s life, depression, anxiety, or a feeling of hopelessness.

The goal of therapy, like with be.Well, is to address the disordered behaviors surrounding food, while leaving space to acknowledge how food is being used as a negative coping mechanism to manage other emotions or stress. Many individuals who struggle with eating disorders and with a negative body image, are able to find the root cause of their stress through therapy, and begin to heal. With the trusting guidance of a be.Well therapist, you can honestly explore your emotions and begin to take control of your thoughts and negative behaviors surrounding food.

What kind of treatment does be.Well offer for eating disorders?

The goal of treating your eating disorder or your disordered eating habits include understanding how food serves in meeting your emotional needs. Once this is established, a therapist and patient will establish control of destructive eating patterns and find healthier ways of dealing with negative emotions and stress.

Treatment at be.Well, will include both behavioral elements as well as psychoanalytic exploration of relationships. Treatment will include collaborative work with other providers, such as a be.Well psychiatrist or those at Indigo 108, so that you can take control of your mental well being, navigate your way through this challenging journey, and connect your mind, body, and spirit.

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