What are Eating Disorders?
If you’re looking at your life and recognizing patterns or symptoms of disordered eating, you should be pleased with yourself for noticing these tendencies. You should also know that you’re certainly not alone in them and that help is available.
Perhaps you find yourself drastically restricting your food intake. Alternatively, you might feel like your eating has become compulsive and hard to control. In some instances, individuals end up vacillating between these two extremes.
Disordered eating habits take many forms and can arise for a variety of reasons. They often develop gradually and imperceptibly, sometimes occurring regularly, other times only occasionally. However, without treatment, disordered eating or an anxiety eating disorder can worsen over time.
Recognizing Disordered Eating
If you’re just beginning to observe your own symptoms of disordered eating, pay close attention to the following behaviors.
- Avoiding meals or finding excuses not to eat
- Removing a particular food or food group from your diet
- Holding yourself to an excessively restrictive diet
- Developing eating habits that interfere with your work or social life
- Focusing undue energy on food, eating, body image, or dieting
- Expressing continuous concern over losing weight
- Using diet pills, supplements, laxatives, or enemas in an effort to lose weight
- Binging, particularly on sweets or fatty foods
- Knuckle calluses or lost tooth enamel as a result of self-induced or frequent vomiting
Any of these indicators may be cause for concern. In particular, pay attention to your attitude around calorie restriction and dieting.
Excessive Dieting Can Lead to an Emotional Eating Disorder
Dieting is almost always psychologically complicated and can ultimately become one of the major factors that will put someone at risk for developing an eating disorder. It can be difficult to recognize when a supposed “healthy lifestyle” has crossed into the realm of real mental illness.
Because food restriction lowers a person’s metabolic rate, it can then open the door to binging and overeating and emotional swings that will exacerbate existing levels of stress and anxiety. In an effort to cope, you might begin to withdraw and self-isolate, which actually impairs your ability to deal effectively with normal everyday situations.
The Ongoing Risks of Disordered Eating
If you’re seeing symptoms of disordered eating and have searched for “eating disorder therapy near me” — you’ve made the right decision. Over time, a continual pattern of disordered eating can lead to a range of mental and physical issues. Without seeking treatment, you might face any of the following problems.
- Greater levels of depression and anxiety
- A clinical eating disorder diagnosis such as a binge eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, or bulimia nervosa
- Emotional burdens like guilt, shame, and low self-esteem
- Daily fatigue due to incomplete and low-quality sleep
- Digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea
- Consistent headaches and muscle cramps
- Nutrient deficiencies that interfere with bone density and may cause a condition like osteoporosis
Overcoming Disordered Eating
In noticing clear patterns of disordered eating in your life, now is the time to address these behaviors and concerns. You might also be someone who has developed a longstanding pattern of disordered eating that has cemented itself over many years. You should know that, in either scenario, treatment is available, and change is possible.
We encourage you to reach out to qualified mental health professionals who are trained to diagnose and treat this kind of difficult and highly individualized disorder. If you are currently searching for a “therapist for eating disorder near me,” we congratulate you for taking this crucial step. With appropriate assistance, you will be able to manage and overcome your disordered eating habits and find a better quality of life than you may be currently experiencing.
The team at Evolution Wellness works to create a space where you can feel comfortable and confident addressing your symptoms head-on, identifying the root cause of these behaviors, and creating a plan to work through them. We can take the necessary steps to move through this difficult part of your life, including looking at options for CBT for eating disorders.
We want to help you understand the underlying psychological issues that have influenced your disordered eating so you can lead the life you want, build the future you deserve, and feel proud of your body and health.