Eating disorders are real and treatable disorders that are among the most life-threatening of all mental health disorders. They affect men and women of all ages and are attributed to biological, social, psychological, and genetic factors. These disorders are characterized by a disturbance in the way a person eats and often come with a host of co-occurring issues such as depression, anxiety, and body image issues. There is no singular way an eating disorder manifests itself, and there is no one way a person may look or act to be considered as having an eating disorder. There are many ways an eating disorder may come about, largely characterized by one or more of the following:
Inappropriate elimination such as purging or over-exercise
Obsession with healthy eating
Eating disorders are not always related to a desire to lose weight or to change the appearance of one’s body. Oftentimes eating disorders are more about managing emotions, seeking control over the uncontrollable, or perfectionistic tendencies in various aspects of life.
There is help available for those struggling with eating disorders. Treatment may include a combination of individual, group, and family counseling, nutritional support, weight restoration, and medication if indicated. A treatment team approach is a comprehensive approach that considers all the necessary components of recovery. Within this model, various professionals such as a counselor, dietitian, psychiatrist, and physician may work together to assist clients in their recovery. In addition to the various aspects of treatment, there are also varying levels of treatment including:
Intensive outpatient therapy (IOP)
Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)
As a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders, I will assess the appropriate level of care and offer counseling and support to meet the goals of recovery. It is possible to overcome, and putting together the right support and tools for success is critical.
To better understand the different types of eating disorders, use our resources.