Eating disorders include a group of complex mental health conditions that dramatically affect your physical and emotional well-being. The therapists at Thrive Counseling Services, LLC, work as part of a treatment team that restores your physical and psychological health by addressing all the facets of eating disorders. To start your journey back toward a healthy, thriving life, call the office in Gilbert or Scottsdale, Arizona, or book an in-person or telehealth appointment online today.
Despite what some may think, eating disorders are not a lifestyle choice. They’re a serious mental health condition that erodes your well-being and can lead to potentially fatal health problems.
In many cases (but not all), these disorders arise from persistent and negative thoughts about body image, weight, and food.
The three most common eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder, revolve around negative thoughts, low self-esteem, and a fear of being overweight. However, they’re not the only eating disorders, and some aren’t related to body image or weight concerns.
People with anorexia see themselves as overweight even when they’re dangerously underweight. As a result, they dramatically limit their food intake, exercise excessively, and purge the food they eat by vomiting or taking laxatives.
Bulimia is defined by episodes of binge eating and purging. People with bulimia can’t control their binging; they compensate by ridding their bodies of the food. They may induce vomiting, abuse laxatives, or devote hours to intensive exercise.
People with binge eating disorder have repeated episodes of eating a large amount of food even when they’re not hungry. They usually eat quickly and become uncomfortable due to the amount. Like bulimia, they can’t control their eating during a binge. Afterward, they’re distressed, but they don’t purge.
If you have ARFID, you severely limit the amount and/or types of food you eat. Unlike anorexia, you do not restrict food because you worry about body shape or fear gaining weight. ARFID arises from a lack of interest in eating or the need to avoid food due to sensory issues.
OSFED is the diagnosis for people with disordered eating that’s serious but doesn’t qualify as one of the above disorders.
HAES focuses on accepting and respecting people of all body sizes. This approach promotes a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, physical activity, stress management, and intuitive eating (following signs of hunger and eating mindfully).
Treating an eating disorder is as complex as the underlying condition. Most people need multifaceted treatment that restores nutrition and a healthy weight while also getting therapy that helps identify and deal with the psychological issues associated with disordered eating.
To learn more about effective treatments for eating disorders, call Thrive Counseling Services, LLC, or book an appointment online today.
Emily Walton is an Eating Disorder Specialist, who treats patients for past traumas, eating disorders, and offers therapy sessions. Call us to book your appointment today.