Services for Eating Disorders
Did you know?
It's common for eating disorders to co-occur with at least one other psychiatric disorder.
Dieting reflects dissatisfaction with body size and shape. It's also one of the top risk factors for developing an eating disorder.
That is one reason I am an Anti-Diet psychologist.
Check out these stats:
81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat.
46% of 9-11 year-olds are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets, and 82% of their families are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets.
More than 50% of teenage girls and 33 % of teenage boys use weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives.
The average American woman is 5’4” tall and weighs 165 pounds. The average Miss America winner is 5’7” and weighs 121 pounds.
98% of all dieters will regain their lost weight in 1-3 years. These findings have been replicated since the 1950s!
What are the Major Types of Eating Disorders?
Almost everyone seems to have some concern about their weight, at least occasionally. (Thanks to Diet Culture.) People with eating disorders take such concerns to extremes, developing problematic habits that threaten well-being and even their lives.
There are three major types of eating disorders:
a. Anorexia nervosa
b. Bulimia nervosa
c. Binge Eating Disorder
Another category of eating disorders is when people have eating-related problems but symptoms don’t meet official criteria for anorexia, bulimia or binge eating. The category is called Otherwise Specified Feeding and Eating Disorder, or OSFED. Disorders in this category are just as serious as those in other categories.
Who Suffers From Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders don't just affect teenage women, as depicted in the media. Men and boys are also vulnerable. People of all ages, races, and backgrounds develop eating disorders. So do people who are nonbinary. In fact, the rate of eating disorders is higher among the LGBTQ population.
What Causes Eating Disorders?
Certain psychological factors and personality traits predispose people.
A wide range of situations can precipitate eating disorders.
All in the context of Diet Culture.
Why is it Important to Seek Treatment for these Disorders?
Eating disorders often go untreated.
Not treating an eating disorder can have serious consequences.
How Can a Psychologist Help Someone Recover?
Psychologists play a vital role in the successful treatment of people with eating disorders. We're integral members of the multidisciplinary team.
It's common for patients to be ambivalent about recovery. That's ok!
Sometimes medication is part of treatment. In most cases it's best used in combination with psychotherapy, not as a replacement.
Does Treatment Really Work?
I EMPHASIZE TO EACH OF MY PATIENTS THAT FULL RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE!
Many people, with and without an eating disorder, believe that once a person has an eating disorder, that person will always have an eating disorder. This is not true, especially with treatment.
Eating disorders can be treated successfully by appropriately trained medical and mental health professionals.
But treatments do not work instantly.
Remember: The sooner treatment starts, the better.
The longer problematic patterns continue, the more deeply ingrained they become - and the more difficult they are to treat.
Eating disorders can severely impair functioning and health. But the prospect for long-term recovery is good for most people who seek help from trained professionals.
Helpful link for parents: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/sites/default/files/Toolkits/ParentToolkit.pdf
Helpful link for educators: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/sites/default/files/Toolkits/EducatorToolkit.pdf