Eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia or Binge Eating Disorder are typified by an obsession with food, weight and body appearance and it is a very strong signal that all is NOT well psychologically with the individual. People who suffer from eating disorders typically come from a highly controlled family background – where attitudes to food and body image are paramount.
People who suffer from eating disorders are usually in a state of conflict and the disorder manifests either as a means of trying to stay in control or signifying a lack of control. Individuals with eating disorders almost always suffer from low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and body dissatisfaction.
There are three categories of eating disorders – with different associated symptoms and behaviours:
Is typified by severe weight loss often in conjunction with excessive exercise, leading to starvation. Sufferers of Anorexia may purge (vomit), use laxatives, refuse to eat and these behaviours are generally very secretive.
Is a cycle of binge eating followed by purging. Purging refers to regurgitation, the misuse of laxatives and/or unnecessary exercise. Individuals with Bulimia are not necessarily either overweight or underweight making it hard to detect.
Binge Eating Disorder
Is frequent overeating of excessively large amounts of food in one go, without compensatory measures such as purging or exercise. Individuals with binge eating disorder are typically overweight or obese.
How do I know if I have an eating disorder?
Eating disorders are always psychological by nature and are not always reflected by body size. You may find yourself obsessing about food (eating too much or not eating enough), have a strong sense of body dissatisfaction (or body dysmorphia – where you have an unrealistic perception your actual size). Obsession with exercise. Secretive behaviour such as binging, purging or laxative abuse. Feelings of needing to maintain strict control or feelings of being out of control. Poor self-esteem and the need to present yourself as perfect. Feelings of failure and not being good enough. Other self-harm behaviours. Continual self-criticism, feelings of shame and continually striving for perfection.
Can counselling help with eating disorders?
Counselling is one of the best available options to treat eating disorders because it provides an opportunity to uncover the reason why the eating disorder has occurred in the first place. Eating disorders are always a sign of psychological distress, whether it be low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, family or relationship conflicts or fear of failure. Seeking counselling provides the opportunity to understand the emotional conflict that is driving the eating disorder. Counselling provides you with the opportunity to:
- Understand the psychological causes that have created your eating disorder
- Learn strategies to deal with obsessive thoughts and behaviours
- Get support and psycho-education around eating disorders
- Learn how to identify and manage triggers that drive eating disorders
- Repair unhealthy self-esteem
Why choose People Psychology Melbourne CBD?
At People Psychology Melbourne CBD all of our psychologists are skilled at finding out the reasons for your eating disorder and highly adept at treating the underlying causes. Our therapists take a holistic approach to your treatment and are happy to work with other allied health professionals e.g. GP’s, or dieticians to get you on the road to recovery.
People Psychology Melbourne CBD is conveniently located on the corner of Collins and Swanston Street and A.H. and Saturday appointments are also available.