Although 28.8 million Americans will have an eating disorder at some point in their lifetime, it is often an isolating and overwhelming experience.
Fortunately, there is help from experienced professionals who can help you overcome the struggle and develop a healthier relationship with food.
Should you see a psychologist for an eating disorder? We’ll answer that in today’s article.
First Thing First: What is an Eating Disorder?
An eating disorder is a severe mental health condition characterized by abnormal eating habits that negatively impact one’s psychological and physical health.
They can range from extreme food restrictions to overeating and come with accompanying emotional turmoil, including depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
What Are the Types of Eating Disorders?
While this list doesn’t encompass all the various ways eating disorders might manifest, it covers the most commonly diagnosed types.
Those with anorexia nervosa undergo extreme food restrictions due to their intense and overwhelming fear of gaining weight. They often have a distorted body image, perceiving themselves as overweight even if they are dangerously underweight.
Bulimia nervosa presents as episodes of binge eating or consuming what the person believes are large amounts of food over a short period. They follow binges with purging behaviors, such as vomiting, laxative use, or exercising, to prevent weight gain.
Binge Eating Disorder (BED)
When someone has BED, they tend to compulsively eat abnormally large amounts of food in short periods, past the point of feeling full. However, people with BED don’t purge after the binge, which can lead to rapid weight gain.
What Can I Expect from an Eating Disorder Treatment?
The first step in eating disorder treatment is getting an accurate diagnosis. Professionals use physical examinations, blood tests, and psychological evaluations to pinpoint specific disorders while eliminating other health issues that might have overlapping symptoms.
Once diagnosed, you can expect individualized therapy tailored to your disorder and coexisting conditions.
One of the most effective approaches for many is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which targets harmful thought patterns or behaviors and replaces them with logical, problem-solving strategies. However, you may require an alternative treatment model, like interpersonal psychotherapy or family-based treatment.
You may require long-term treatment after addressing the root of your eating disorder and developing strategies to overcome the behaviors. As you progress towards a healthier relationship with food, ongoing counseling supports you as you overcome post-recovery challenges while preventing possible relapse.
Why Should I Get Treatment for an Eating Disorder?
Beyond the apparent impacts of not providing your body with appropriate nutrients through a balanced diet that meets your caloric needs, eating disorders can profoundly interfere with your everyday life and lead to medical emergencies without treatment.
First, there are serious physical health implications. A prolonged eating disorder can lead to complications like heart problems, decreased bone density, and, in severe cases, organ failure. Early intervention can prevent these extreme outcomes and guide you to a healthier life.
Unchecked eating disorders can also amplify your anxiety and depression, impacting your ability to navigate everyday life and participate in social interactions. Treatment equips you with tools and strategies to reclaim control over food’s hold on your mental health and regain your sense of normalcy.
We cannot stress that professional support is encouraged and needed! Overcoming a severe mental illness like an eating disorder can feel isolating, but you're not alone with your struggles, especially at Elevate Rockwall.
Our team of therapists will give you the highest-quality counseling services in a positive, professional atmosphere that respects your struggle and prioritizes your recovery.
You deserve freedom from your eating disorder. You can begin by contacting us right here at Elevate Rockwall today to get started.