How do I know if I have an eating disorder?
Many people have a complicated relationship with food at some point in their lives, but when that relationship spirals out of control, it’s possible for it to become an eating disorder. Eating disorders include binge eating, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, orthorexia, and Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). Eating disorders lead to mental, emotional, and physical damage. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), eating disorders have the second highest mortality rate of any mental health issue, surpassed only by opioid addiction. But there is hope. With treatment, recovery is possible.
Disordered eating vs. eating disorders
Societal pressures, particularly those related to weight and body image, contribute to a relentless diet culture. According to NEDA, dieting and diet products make up a $60 billion industry in the United States. Disordered eating is characterized by guilt and shame related to food, rigid rules around food intake and frequent dieting/weightloss measures. For some, light dieting and exercise does not become disruptive or spiral into disordered behaviors. However, dieting is associated with an increased likelihood of developing disordered eating, which can then lead to full-blown disorders. Eating disorders are defined according to 1) behaviors (multiple behaviors, with frequency), 2) obsessions (difficulty sleeping or concentrating due to consumed thoughts and attention), and 3) functionality (eating patterns disrupt normal functioning). Disordered eating may manifest mildly or moderately in one or more of those areas and may not qualify for a full disorder. However, it is likely to be disruptive and distressing, and poses a serious risk of developing into a full eating disorder without intervention. We approach these issues with compassion to help you improve your relationship with food, accept your body, and build trust in yourself.
Therapy for eating disorders
Eating disorders often coincide with other mental health issues, relationship issues, or difficult life circumstances, contributing to high relapse rates. Outpatient therapy can help you get to the bottom of thoughts, emotions, and trauma to help you achieve and maintain your recovery. Our therapists at Lakewood Family Therapy are highly trained in other areas such as depression, anxiety, trauma, and women’s issues, all of which are commonly associated with eating disorders and disordered eating. We want to help you live a happy and fulfilling life. Therapy can help.
Note: Lakewood Family Therapy provides outpatient treatment only. Some cases may be referred to other qualified providers in the area. In addition, it is important to coordinate care with the help of a professional nutritionist. Our therapists will provide recommendations in your area. We are invested in making sure you find the help you need.