Weight & Eating Disorders
Eating disorders can generally be conditions characterized by unhealthy eating habits that may involve either too little or too much food intake, which is ultimately to the detriment of an individual’s physical & emotional well-being.
There are several different types of eating disorders. Some of the most common are:
Extreme food restriction, inappropriate eating habits or rituals, obsession with having a thin figure, and an irrational fear of weight gain, as well as a distorted body self-perception.
Binge eating followed by purging – typically by vomiting, taking a laxative/diuretic and/or excessive exercise – because of an extensive concern for body weight.
Repeatedly eating an objectively large amount of food in a short period of time, experiencing a lack of control while eating or feeling self-deprecating based on eating behaviour. People who suffer from binge eating do not purge after their binges.
Repeatedly purging to control weight that occurs in people with normal or near-normal weight. Absence of bingeing. People who suffer from purging disorder do not suffer from binge eating.
Frequently unable to control their food consumption, during which they may feel frenzied or out of control and often eat past the point of being full. Also, a compulsive over-eater will spend excessive amounts of time and thought devoted to food, and secretly plan or fantasize about eating.
Signs & Symptoms of Weight and Eating Disorders
- Constant dieting or food restriction.
- Self-induced vomiting
- Use of laxatives
- Excessive and/or compulsive exercising
- Unhealthy fixation on other’s weight and physical appearance
- Constantly checking your own body for fat areas (measuring, pinching, examination in the mirror)
- Denying or ignoring your hunger
- Low self esteem
- Weight loss (continual or sudden)
- Fainting and dizziness
- Absent menstrual periods in women
- Feeling cold
- Eating to the point of physical discomfort
- Binge eating
- Eating in secret
- Eating even if you’re not hungry
- The need to eat more and more to feel satiated
- Feeling shame after indulging
- Preoccupation with food
- Low self esteem
- Digestive problems
- Weight gain (continual or sudden)
- Chronic pain
When is it time to get help?
Eating too much or too little can have serious consequences on your physical and mental health. Treatment should be sought as soon as possible to reduce the risks to your health. It’s common for weight management and eating disorder issues to be part of other mental health concerns.
Weight and Eating Disorders treatment methods
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to treatment that focuses on how your thoughts, emotions and beliefs influence your behaviour and how you perceive yourself, others and the world. CBT has been shown to be effective in dealing with anxiety because it helps you to change those negative thoughts, feelings, emotions and projections on a subject matter or circumstance and help you to learn more effective ways of dealing with your anxiety. This approach uses sound techniques to slow down, halt and eliminate your own learned reactions. Ultimately, CBT deals with those circumstances and events that you’re aware of, rather than dealing with circumstances and events relating to your unconscious. Through a sound therapeutic process, you’ll learn to respond differently to issues and circumstances, and you’ll learn healthy coping mechanisms.
- Behaviour Therapy includes the thinking processes, attitudes and values which typically impact an individual. Generally speaking, Behaviour Therapy tends to view human beings and behaviour with the assumption that humans are a product of their sociocultural conditioning and environment. Behaviour Therapy also looks at the current problems and the factors influencing them and emphasizes overt behaviour changes more than the underlying unconscious processes. Typically, treatment goals are more concrete and objective with a strong focus on measuring progress over time. Ultimately, the goal of therapy is to create new learning and/or new conditions for learning that will ultimately impact the problem behaviour.
- Mindfulness Therapy combines cognitive behaviour therapy with meditation techniques. It was originally used to treat depression, it has shown to be effective in the treatment of other conditions as well, such as addictions, and other mental health concerns. Clients use mindfulness techniques to interrupt thoughts and automatic body processes (sleep disturbances, for example). This type of therapy helps clients to see that their thoughts can become their reality and they are taught how to disengage from negative thoughts and thought patterns.
- Hypnotherapy can allow you to travel deeper into the unconscious or subconscious to look at and work with issues and ideas perhaps inaccessible otherwise. For most people, being in hypnosis does not seem much different to how they feel at other times during wakeful relaxation. It is like guided daydreaming: a form of relaxed concentration. Hypnosis is very safe. You are always in control and you will not do anything that you would normally not do. Hypnosis was approved by the American Medical Association in 1958 as an effective therapy for behaviour change.
What will I get out of treatment with Insight Psychological?
By undergoing counselling for weight management and eating disorders, it is possible to discover the root of an eating disorder and overcome it in order to reach a healthy weight. Many people cannot stop eating or maintain a healthy weight – and do not understand why. They wonder:
- Why do I overeat/refuse to eat?
- Why can’t I lose weight/put on weight?
- Why is it hard for me to stay on a diet?
- Why do I eat even when I am not hungry?
- Is it possible for me to pass these bad eating habits on to my children?
Treatment with an Insight therapist will help you answer those questions