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Thursday, June 7, 2018

How Counseling can Help People with Eating Disorders

Getting married causes anxiety for many brides. Brides want to look their best in their dream dress and for some eating disorders leading up to the big day are a very serious matter. The human mind can take a normal activity and turn it into chaos. One good example of this is eating. The simple act of eating in order to survive can be turned into an eating disorder, where you have problems eating enough or too much, or are overly concerned about your relationship with food. This can lead to obesity, starvation, or not getting enough nutrition, among other risks.

Below are a few types of eating disorders:

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia is an eating disorder where the person is focused on weight loss and has a distorted body image of themselves. Many people with anorexia are dangerously underweight, yet they feel like they need to lose more weight to achieve their ideal body. They will eat very little and may workout almost obsessively, and this will lead to various health conditions. Anorexia can lead to you being dangerously underweight and frail. Treating anorexia involves helping the individual identify and work through their negative thoughts about their body and food, and can help restore the individual to a healthy weight by introducing an eating and workout regimen, and a healthier mindset around their body image.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia involves recurring sessions of eating in excess (binge eating), and then purging the food from your body through throwing up, or sometimes using laxatives or other medications to help expel what you’ve just consumed. Bulimia is hard on the body, making it an eating disorder that should be treated as soon as possible. Throwing up excessively can damage your esophagus and teeth, and other purging behaviors can eventually lead to thing like gastrointestinal problems, abnormal laboratory findings, and even reduced muscle mass.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder is similar to bulimia nervosa in that the person eats an excessive amount of food in a short period of time. When people that have binge eating disorder have a bingeing episode, they may eat quicker than normal, eat until they feel they’re too full, eat despite not actually being hungry, and they may eat by themselves to hide their embarrassment and their guilt. However, unlike bulimia nervosa, people who suffer from binge eating disorder do not purge the food they’ve consumed. This can lead to weight gain and other health problems.

These are the main types of eating disorders, and there are more out there. So how does counseling help with eating disorders?

Replacing Negative Thoughts

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, involves reprogramming your mind to first identify and then replace your negative thoughts with more positive ones. For example, if you have anorexia, your mind may constantly be overrun with thoughts that your body looks overweight, or is undesirable as it is. CBT can help replace those thoughts with more positive and encouraging ones.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

When you have an eating disorder, you will experience various negative emotions that will bring you down emotionally. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT, is when you are aware of your emotions and you accept them for what they are.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT, involves using individual psychotherapy techniques and group skills training classes to help you learn how to deal with your emotions. One of the modules in the skills training emphasizes mindfulness, which involves you being aware of and participating in the present. You don’t dwell on your past and your experiences with eating disorders, and you don’t worry about the future of your eating disorder. Instead, you concentrate on the present and be aware of how your body is working in this moment. Mindfulness can help with many mental health conditions, not just eating disorders.

Counseling Helps When You Experience a Setback

As you’re recovering from your eating disorder, you may experience a bit of a relapse. You may go through a round of binge eating after a while, or go a day not eating anything at all, when you’re currently working on eating on a regular schedule. When this happens, you may lose some motivation and instead, go back to your eating disorder behaviors. A therapist can be there when you relapse, and help you get back on the right track.

Counseling is Available at Any Time

Online counseling can help those who don’t have the time or the transportation to go to regular counseling sessions. Whenever you’re dealing with an episode, online counseling is a way to help cope with your problems instantly and prevent a relapse.

There are many online counseling services available if you want to get started in treating your eating disorder. If you want to learn more about online therapy, click here.  Eating disorders are hard to deal with, but with the help of a professional, you can be able to fix your eating habits and live a healthier life.

Marie Miguel Biography

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.
Photo Credit: A Thousand Words Photography

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