Eating Disorders Counselling & Therapy
Having an unhealthy attitude towards food can be harmful to more than just the physical domain. Almost everyone cheats on their regular intake of food from time to time. But occasionally, it does not do much harm. However, if these habits become consistent, they can start having serious damages to our physical and mental wellbeing.
What are Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders are illnesses in which people experience extreme disturbances in their eating behaviors. These extreme attitudes towards foods also affect our thoughts and emotions. People with eating disorders are obsessed with their body image and food consumption habits. Often people with eating disorders also suffer from low self-esteem and use food as a means of escape or as a coping mechanism for some underlying psychological issue.
Eating disorders are much more than just eating habits. They are complex mental health disorders that often require professional help or even medications to treat. In serious cases, eating disorders can cause severe health conditions and may even lead to fatal injuries. These bad ways of eating can range from consuming too much food in a very short amount of time or eating nothing at all. People with eating disorders are often so obsessed with their body image that they may undergo actions that can even lead to death.
Types of Eating Disorders
There are six major types of eating disorders, these are:
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Bulimia Nervosa
- Binge eating disorder
- Rumination disorder
- Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder
How to find an Eating Disorders Therapist
If you are looking to find the perfect Eating Disorders therapist it is crucial to make sure that they have the appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience. At Expat Therapy 4U we only accept therapists who have full professional proficiency in English and are highly experienced in working with people from culturally diverse backgrounds. The clinicians we approve share our values and commitment to provide high quality therapy to the expatriate community in the private sector across Europe and online worldwide. We strongly believe that therapy changes lives, and being accredited ensures all our therapists are qualified to a high standard. You can find an Eating Disorders therapist who is insured to practice and accredited with a recognised membership body online here.
Symptoms of Eating Disorders
Occasional binging does not mean you have an eating disorder. To better help you clarify, here are some warning signs someone with an eating disorder might show.
- A preoccupation and extreme concern with weight, food, calories, body image, dieting, weight loss, and control of food.
- Refusal to eat certain categories of foods to a point where you become extremely skinny. Anorexia Nervosa is a condition in which you experience dramatic weight loss and are unable to maintain weight despite your age.
- Having an intense distaste in how certain foods look and rejecting to eat them based on smell, appearance, or taste. Also known as Avoidant/Restrictive Food intake disorder.
- Appearing uncomfortable eating around others.
- A lack of self-confidence and checking in the mirror often.
- Extreme mood swings.
- A noticeable fluctuation in weight, both increase, and decrease.
- Stomach cramps and menstrual irregularities.
- Difficulty concentrating and sleep problems because of hunger or loss of appetite.
- Cuts and calluses on the top of fingers. This can be an indication of voluntary vomiting as in disorders like Bulimia Nervosa a person first binges food and then tries to get rid of it fast through vomiting or using laxatives etc. A person in bulimia may undergo such extreme activities even if they are fatal.
- Binge eating large amounts of foods in short periods of time and then feeling disgusted, guilty, or lack of self-esteem after doing it.
- The disappearance of large amounts of food from home, and secretive presence of food wrappers and laxative packaging.
- Eating items that are not foods and have no nutritional value such as chalks, clay, ash, paint, etc. This condition is also known as
- Repeated regurgitation of food such as re-chewing, spitting, re-swallowing. This disorder is commonly known as a Rumination disorder and may include some other mental health condition (mental disability).
Causes of Eating Disorders
The exact reason for the development of eating disorders is unknown. But certain factors can contribute such as:
Genetics and biology
Biological factors such as genes, changes in brain chemicals, and growth play a great role in the development of Eating disorders. Having a parent or other close relation with an eating disorder can increase the chances of you developing one yourself.
Physical and emotional health
Often people have psychological and physical conditions that fuel their eating disorder. People with a history of anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder are more likely to develop eating disorders. Furthermore, people may also start binging on food as a means to cope with stress.
Treatment options for Eating Disorders
If you or someone you know suffers from an eating disorder, it is important to seek help directly from a health professional as often it can be hard to deal with these disorders on your own. You can consult a mental health professional or a registered dietician. Treatment includes the following options.
Therapy is the most important component of your treatment plan. Therapy can help you to:
- Normalize your food consumption and achieve a healthy weight.
- Learn to identify negative habits and replace them with positive ones.
- Learn how to monitor your eating and moods.
- Explore healthy ways to cope with stressful situations instead of binging on food.
- Improve your mood and fix any underlying problems that are causing your disorder.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is often implemented for treating eating disorders. In CBT, you focus on your behaviors, thoughts, and thinking patterns related to your disorder. CBT helps you identify and correct distorted thinking and helps you cope with your disorder in a healthy manner. You can try individual, family, or group therapy sessions for CBT.
If your underlying mental health conditions are primarily causing your eating disorder, then you can go through lots of therapy options to
Depending on your condition, your doctor may prescribe you some medications to cope with your obsessive thoughts. Often eating disorders are psychological disorders as well, so antidepressants can work great in stabilizing your thinking and helping you improve yourself.
Hospitalization is also available in life-threatening cases. If you have a severe condition such as Anorexia and are unable to control your weight or psychological symptoms, then you can get hospitalized as well.
Eating disorders can be harmful and even life-threatening in the long run. If you know someone who suffers from an eating disorder, you should consult a medical professional so you can get started on treatment and get them back to a normal way of living.
Further Readings on Eating Disorders
About Expat Therapy 4U
Expat Therapy 4U is the result of 5 years’ experience running The International Psychology Clinic, the first private therapy service based in London specialized in multilingual and multicultural therapy.
The platform is run by Dr Martina Paglia. Dr Martina is a leading dual qualified Clinical and Counselling psychologist who helps patients by providing bespoke psychological services including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling and Psychotherapy in London and online worldwide.
Our network comprises highly qualified and experienced private therapists who have made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of expats worldwide. All members of our community are highly experienced working in cross-cultural environments.
We are passionate about delivering first-class patient-centred, safe and effective care. If you would like to work with a warm, inclusive, caring and professional English-speaking therapist in Europe or online worldwide you have come to the right place.
If you are looking for the perfect expat Therapist in Europe or online worldwide, our team is dedicated to help you find your best match. We offer a client guarantee where clients can re-book with a different therapist if they are not satisfied with their first therapy session.
Recent Blog Articles