Have you wondered if you (or someone you care about) are at risk of developing an eating disorder? Many people with eating disorders look healthy, yet their relationship to food and body image can be unhealthy.
Seven facts about eating disorders:
- Are serious biologically influenced illnesses that affect people of all genders, ages, body shapes and weights.
- Cause changes in thinking and personality – which perpetuates the unhealthy relationship to food and body image.
- Causes depression, tiredness, fatigue, irritability, poor concentration, anxiety and withdrawal from friends and family.
- Lead people to become so focussed on eating behaviours and weight loss, that their relationship to people and the activities they once enjoyed is negatively impacted.
- Physical symptoms of restricted eating include reduction in body weight and heart muscle, decreased body temperature (cold, dizzy,tired), hair loss and bloating.
- Medical risks include problems with the heart, hormones, bones, throat, stomach, teeth and bowel problems.
- A malnourished brain cannot function optimally. The brain requires 500 calories a day to allow for complex functions. Interestingly, starving the brain can lead to rigid and irrational thinking, which is why increasing a patient’s weight gain is a legitimate medical treatment.
A Quick Checklist
– If you say yes to more than a few of these it is probably worth discussing with your doctor and/ or seeing a psychologist and/ or Dietitian to support you to a happier place.
- Has your eating/ weight preoccupation taken over your life?
- Do you or someone you know have body dissatisfaction?
- Is weight your whole world?
- Are you preoccupied with food and weight?
- Do you restrict your eating?
- Is your BMI in the “underweight range”, or low end of “normal”?
- Do you feel anxious and depressed most days?
- Do you feel tired all the time?
- If you are female, has your period stopped or changed?
- Do you binge eat?
Did you know? What does research say about why people develop eating disorders?
- Low self-esteem at the age of eight is one of the key predictive factors for problems with body image in the teenage years
- Negative self-talk can lead to body dissatisfaction and trigger a range of problems.
- Social media and societal pressure appear to be exacerbating people’s preoccupation with having the “perfect body”.
- Dieting and restricting food is a common trigger for anorexia.
Early Detection and Treatment is the Key
This November (2019) the government recognised that early treatment improves prognosis and is offering a rebate for up to 40 sessions per calendar year with a Psychologist and 20 sessions with a Dietitian.
Treatment of choice: Helping you feel happier
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the best treatment option available and highly individualised, time limited and collaborative.
CBT helps you to understand key eating behaviours, feelings and thoughts related to the situation/s in which these occur.
The idea is to help you figure out what maintains restricted eating/ other and addresses these thoughts. Some common ones are over-evaluation of weight and shape, dietary rules, mood-related eating and other maintaining factors such as, low self-esteem, perfectionism and relationship difficulties.
We aim to help you overcome your fears and anxieties about weight, change and receiving our support.
You can relearn to link your identity to other things and learn to develop a positive relationship with food.
We can help you develop a sense of control and reclaim your health and happiness.
Book now at Revive Health and Happiness:
Linda Johnson, Clinical Psychologist
Misty Reinkowsky, Dietitian
Phone: 6381 0297 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Book online: www.revivehealthandhappiness.com.au
Written by Linda Johnson, Clinical Psychologist