Eating disorders are very complicated. Everyone has to eat in order to survive and in the instance of an eating disorder, something that is a necessity becomes severely unhealthy. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual names three types of eating disorder:
- Bulimia Nervosa
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Eating disorder not otherwise specified which includes binge eating disorder
Many people who struggle with an eating disorder actually don’t meet the DSM diagnostic criteria but experience different degrees of a disordered relationship with food, their body and themselves. More often than not a compulsive relationship with exercise is apparent as well. Eating disorders and food issues that appear due to overeating or that cause weight gain are very often mistaken for bad habits or lack of willpower.
The belief today is that fat is bad and that thin is good. Fat and thin are statements about who a person is. If a person is fat they are bad, unlovable, and unwanted. If a person is thin they are good, lovable, and wanted. People, who are suffering from eating disorders where they starve themselves, will induce vomiting after eating and exercise when it is not medically safe due to the belief that they are in danger of becoming fat or flabby. These people are dictated by the intense fear of becoming fat and believe that they are fundamentally lazy slobs. Those who overeat or binge eat believe their relationship with food, size, shape and weight of their bodies is proof of their worthlessness. So food and eating disorders really are just expression of someone’s self and self-worth.
There are many types of eating disorder therapy used to treat eating issues. Eating disorder therapy only really uses evidence-based practices, which means they really only use eating disorder therapy that is proven to work. Some of the eating disorder therapies include cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, family therapy, and behavioral therapy. Some of these are short term but more often than not these eating disorder therapies are long term and last for years. Some other eating disorder therapies are feminist therapies, psychodynamic psychotherapies and group therapies.
There are also treatment centers for eating disorder. There are outpatient and inpatient eating disorder therapies. Outpatient eating disorder therapy usually mixes group therapy and individual therapy. Inpatient eating disorder therapy very often will use a 12 step approach while emphasizing the spiritual approach used in Alcoholics Anonymous. Many inpatient eating disorder therapies will also include things like yoga, art therapy, and equine therapy. Psychotherapists for eating disorder therapy will very often include groups, group therapy, expressive art therapies, yoga therapy, specialty yoga classes and self-help programs such as Eating Disorders Anonymous.
Eating disorder therapy is widely available and can be found all over the country for anyone seeking help with an eating disorder therapy. More often than not recovery from an eating disorder is not a quick fix and eating disorder therapy must continue for a lifetime in order to keep the recovered person on the right path. Eating disorders can be recovered from.
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