Help for Eating Disorders

Posted on October 17, 2011

 

It is estimated that 8 million Americans have some type of eating disorder and nearly half of Americans know someone with an eating disorder.  Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses. While these statistics are alarming, there is help and hope for both those personally struggling with an eating disorder as well as those who love or know someone living with the illness.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV defines an eating disorder as: a person that experiences severe disturbances in eating behaviors and distress of excessive concern about body shape or weight. While the presentation of an eating disorder will vary, one or more of the following symptoms of eating disorders will be present in most individuals with an eating disorder.

  • Preoccupation with body wt., calories, food and nutrition
  • Wearing loose or baggy clothing
  • Intensely competing or an extreme need to avoid competition with others
  • Compulsive dieting, exercising and/or overuse of diet pills and/or laxatives
  • Difficulty receiving nutrition, compliments, favors, love, and attention from others.
  • Belief that self is fat despite low wt or comments from others person is too thin
  • A feeling of loss of control
  • Physical symptoms including; cold intolerance, low blood pressure, anemia, edema, constipation, bradycardia, thyroid dysfunction, heart arrhythmias and many other symptoms are also possible.

Only 1 in 10 people with an eating disorder actually receive treatment for their illness. However, you do not have to be a statistic; there is help and treatment available! If you believe you are suffering from an eating disorder or just struggling with what you think are simple eating issues, an appointment to discuss your concerns with a therapist is the first step. It is important to find a therapist that is informed and has experience in treating eating disorders and approaches eating disorders from a holistic point of view which includes nutritional, spiritual and often medical support.

Do not hesitate to seek treatment or minimize the seriousness and life impacting results of an eating disorder.

 

*some material in this article taken from The Eating Disorder Solution by Dr. Barbara Cole, MFT, Psy.D.

 

Written By:  Tammy Shephard, MA

 

Tammy Shephard is a counselor at Groff and Associates.  Email Tammy at Tammy@GroffandAssociates.com

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NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly9ncm9mZmFuZGFzc29jaWF0ZXMuY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMy1ncm9mZl9oZWFkZXIucG5nIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==