All about eating disorders
All about eating disorders
Eating disorders are a group of conditions that involve excessive over or under eating. Eating disorders are more than simply being on a diet or eating too much at Christmas. For those with an eating disorder their self-esteem and feelings of self worth are completely tied to their body size and their eating, exercise and body weight and size become a preoccupation. Eating disorders are on the rise in Australia and one Australian study found that 8.8% of adolescent females had an eating disorder. Although eating disorders occur in both males and females, they are much more common in females at a rate of 10:1 in adolescence and 20:1 in young adult hood.
Types of eating disorders
There are a variety of eating disorders that can affect a person. Anorexia nervosa is characterised by excessive weight loss and a desire to be thin often leading to starvation of the body. Bulimia nervosa consists of a cycle of binge eating and purging through self-induced vomiting, laxative and/or diuretic use to remove the calories or extreme exercise or fasting to counteract the excessive eating. Those with bulimia nervosa are often of normal weight. Binge eating disorder has the same out of control binge eating as bulimia nervosa, but there is no purging behaviour, and those with binge eating disorder tend to be overweight or obese.
Those with an eating disorder often use eating and food as a way of dealing with uncomfortable emotions. In anorexia the restriction of food is used as a way of getting control, in bulimia the purge is used as a way of reducing the feelings of guilt and anxiety of overeating, and in binge eating the excessive eating is used as a way to sooth feeling such as depression.
You may find it useful to read the stories of other people who have had an eating disorder and what they did to overcome it.
You may want to help
Don’t try to fix the problem by being the food police or by using embarrassment, insults or negativity about the persons eating behaviour or weight. Encourage only healthy behaviours and support the person in a non-judgemental way without placing shame, blame or guilt on the person. Be supportive, and just listen, even if they are defensive or angry. It is also important to encourage treatment, even to just visit their doctor.
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Recovery from an eating disorder
It’s good to know that recovery from an eating disorder is possible with the right treatment. Psychotherapy and nutritional counseling are widely considered the most effective treatments for an eating disorder.
Did you realise research has shown that the relationship between you and your counsellor is one of the most important elements for a successful outcome? How do you know if the therapist you find will be the best fit for you?
Select Counsellors provides a unique client counsellor matching service to ensure you see the right counsellor for you, first time. We have a pool of highly trained Sydney based counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists and will match you with the right therapist based on important information collected in a personalised assessment about you and your needs. At Select Counsellors our key priority is Finding you the One. To book an assessment click here or call on 1300 123 680 to speak in person with a Select Counsellor.
Click on the links below to find out more information on eating disorders:
The Helpful Guide