Tips To Be There For Someone Who Discloses An Eating Disorder
Treatment For Binge Eating
With therapy for binge eating, you will have an open, nonjudgmental, and compassionate space where you can understand why you are binge eating. Binge eating can feel shameful, but in therapy, there will be absolutely no judgment. You are binging for a reason and you started binge eating for a reason. We will work to figure out what it is you are really needing when you turn to food. We will work to discover how to get that need met in others ways besides with food. We will also talk about specific strategies to best overcome binge eating.
Please see below for symptoms of binge eating disorder. It is ok if you are unsure if you meet the criteria for binge eating disorder. We work with clients who are binge eating and also clients who meet criteria for binge eating disorder. This blog posts also helps with how to know if you have binge eating disorder. During the first therapy session, we will assess for symptoms and talk about the binge eating disorder diagnosis as appropriate. Therapy for binge eating is available for clients in Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Decatur, Atlanta, and throughout Georgia. Therapy is also available to people in 20+ additional states throughout the US.
V What Are Common Eating Disorder Therapy Treatments
Treatment plans for eating disorders often involve a combination of approaches, including psychotherapy, medical care, nutritional counseling, and/or medications. Common eating disorder therapy and treatment options include:
Cognitive behavioral therapy
CBT is one of the most established psychotherapies for bulimia and binge eating and targets distorted thoughts about food and maladaptive eating behaviors that maintain the eating disorder. When used for anorexics, therapists help them challenge their distortions concerning body image and develop accurate ways of viewing themselves. CBT helps interrupt patterns of restrictive dieting and binge eating through skills training, education, and anxiety reduction.
IPT is also one of the most established psychotherapies for bulimia and binge eating and targets interpersonal difficulties that lead to negative emotions that maintain the eating disorder. During IPT sessions, you focus on coping with the frustration and tension resulting from negative interpersonal interactions while learning to improve your relationship skills.
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How To Know If A Loved One Has An Eating Disorder
If there is a person about whom you are worried, the first step is that you are here and concerned about your friend’s thoughts or behaviors around eating. Sometimes it can be harder for a person with disordered eating to recognize the problem.
At onset, an eating disorder can often resemble behaviors that our culture admires. Maybe your loved one has been dieting, but has become increasingly fixated and restrictive. Maybe theyre eating less and less when they are with youor you never see them eat at all. Or maybe they eat a lot, and then immediately excuse themselves after the meal and disappear without explanation and do not return for thirty minutes. Maybe their exercise habits seem excessive or dangerous, or they obsess to you about their weight.
That’s why it’s so important to become better informed on the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder in a friend or loved one first.
How To Help A Friend With An Eating Disorder
Eating disorders can take a toll on both the body and the mind. Its not easy to watch someone you care about go through a challenging time and potentially harm themselves in the process.
If you know someone with an eating disorder, you may be feeling worried or unsure of what you can do to help your friend.
Discussing your concerns may feel uncomfortable, but being there for your friend can be a valuable form of support. Equipped with a few tips, you may be able to help your loved one when they need it most.
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Embarassed To Tell Therapist About Chewing And Spitting
Chewing and spitting became my activity of choice as my eating disorder spun out of control last fall. My weight has fluctuated while Ive alternated between anorexia and binge eating. Ive been able to tell my friends and therapist about the issues that surround this fluctuation, but Ive never been able to tell anyone about the behavior that I engage in when Im at my most hopeless and depressed chewing and spitting. Im so embarrassed by it, but I dont think I can make any headway in therapy without admitting to what I consider to be the worst manifestation of my problem. Is there any way that I can be honest with my therapist about my desperation without telling her about this extremely humiliating behavior? Is it absolutely necessary for me to tell someone about my chewing and spitting in order to recover from my eating disorder? Thank you all so much for your wonderful website. It has been such a comfort in my struggle.- Naomi
If your therapist is knowledgeable about eating disorders, s/he is very likely to be familiar with this ED behavior. I cannot imagine that s/he would think negatively of you because of this. It is not uncommon for therapists to come across this behavior in the patients we serve. Professionals see chewing and spitting as just another manifestation of the eating disorder. As with any ED behavior it is simply the person trying to deal with the overwhelming anxiety, wounds, and other issues that fuel the ED.
How To Find The Right Therapist
When you are looking for a therapist to help you with your eating disorder, it is important to find someone who specializes in this field. There are many therapists out there who claim to be experts in treating eating disorders, but not all of them have the necessary training and experience.
Here are some tips on how to find the right therapist for you:
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Whomever You Choose To Work With You Must Be Honest And Accurately Represent Your Problem
Its especially crucial that you tell them about any and all physical problems along with the emotional issues that are bothering you. For example, if your parotid glands are swollen because youve been vomiting, admit it and dont pretend youve just had a bout of the flu. If your menstrual periods have stopped, dont say that theyre irregular. If your gums and teeth are affected by bulimic vomiting, dont blame the problems on too much candy as a child, or poor heredity.
No therapist is a mind reader. If you dont speak candidly, he/she might not ask you about the issues or situations that you feel are problematic and important to discuss. Worse, the therapist may diagnose and want to treat you first for something other than an eating disorder because youve been dishonest about your signs, symptoms, concerns, etc.
Make A List Of Anything You Would Want To Ask A Therapist
Here are some questions Im frequently asked by prospective clients.
* What is your educational background?* How long have you been a therapist?* How and why did you become an eating disorder therapist?* Do you or did you have an eating disorder?* Are you a licensed professional?* What is your preferred treatment approach?* How much does a session cost?* Do you accept insurance?* Do you have a sliding fee scale if I dont have insurance that will cover your services?* Do you prescribe medications? How do you decide what medications to prescribe?* Will you work with me alone and have my family work with another therapist, or will we all work with the same therapist or therapy team?* Do you offer group therapy?* How often would we meet? How do you decide how many times we will meet?* Can I contact you between our scheduled sessions if I need to? Will those interactions be confidential?* Can I communicate with you by email? Will those emails be confidential?* What will you do if I disagree with your suggestions during therapy?* How long will it take me to know youre the right therapist for me?* What if you and I dont click? Can you refer me to someone else? Will you be angry with me?* Can I be forced into treatment against my will?Any concern you have is valid its better to ask too many questions than too few.
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Maintaining Your Clients Trust
If an individual comes to therapy for something other than an eating disorder but is actively engaging in disordered behaviors, he or she is likely in denial or is simply not ready to get help. In either case, it can be difficult for a therapist to get through to the client without his or her guard going up.
Coming from a non-judgmental place is essential for any intervention to be effective. This might seem like common knowledge, but many individuals, even those within the behavioral health field, are unfamiliar with eating disorders and hold many misconceptions. If a client feels judged or shamed for his or her disorder, that relationship and rapport will be difficult to rebuild.
Look For An Experienced Therapist
An eating disorder therapist should be experienced in the field in order to help you the most. You can look for this information on their website or by asking them directly. If they are not forthcoming with this information, it may be best to move on to someone who is more open.
It is important for you to understand that an experienced therapist will have seen a wide range of cases. This means that they will be more likely to understand your unique situation and how to best help you. In fact, they will also have a better understanding of the latest research and treatments for eating disorders.
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It Seems Like The Ed Person Has Already Programmed Themself To Fail Does Our Society Encourage That
Recovery from an eating disorder is hard, but it is definitely possible. One of the most important aspects of recovery is willingness to recover. If a person goes into treatment and recovery with the attitude that they do not want to recover, they do not want to gain, and that they are happy with how they are currently, it is very difficult for treatment to be successful.
Those who have recovered are always in recovery, which is because there will always be those little triggers and thoughts that could have potential effects on an individual. Similar to how our society can influence the start of an eating disorder, society can also help someone to fail in his or her recovery. The messages about being thin and getting the best body are still out there. Granted, there are now stories about feeling good at any weight and plus-size models are being featured, but those do not stand out as much as the 5 easy tricks to drop 10 pounds in a week articles.
Adopting Ritualistic Eating Habits And Rules
Eating a set quantity of a particular food at a certain time in a certain setting may be part of a daily routine. However, when taken to extremes that interfere with everyday life, ritualistic habits and rigid rules may indicate an unhealthy relationship with food. Eliminating whole food groups, limiting food intake, restricting quantities or following inflexible preparation practices may be a sign of an eating disorder.
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I Worry Youre Not Going To Get It
Many misconceptions about eating disorders persist in our society, such as:
- Eating disorders are the purview of teenage girls
- Eating disorders about about vanity and appearance
- Eating disorders are about control
- Binge eating is about willpower
It helps to educate people about disordered eating, to let them know that whatever is going on is a symptom of the problem. There may be social and genetic aspects, and often the behavior represents an attempt to resolve a psychological conflict through action.
Signs Of Eating Disorders And How An Eating Disorder Counselor Can Help
While some may recognize the signs of an eating disorder and may recommend an eating disorder counselor, others may not know where to begin. This is especially true if someone is suffering from an eating disorder himself or herself.
According to the National Eating Disorders Organization, emotions, behaviors, and attitudes are centered on an individual’s food decisions. This individual focuses on weight issues, as well as other mental-health-related issues.
What Causes Eating Disorders
There are a lot of misconceptions out there about what causes an eating disorder. Some people mistakenly believe that an eating disorder is simply just a choice that someone makes. What they fail to acknowledge when they believe this is that an eating disorder is a mental health condition.
When someone sufferers from an eating disorder, it is because they have an underlying mental health challenge that is causing it. It could be that they are struggling with anxiety disorder, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, for example. Some people that have eating disorders have lived through traumatic situations where they had very little control. Eating disorders are a way to feel like they have control over some part of their life.
Who Suffers From Eating Disorders
While the majority of people might be teenagers, they aren’t the only ones that suffer from eating disorders. It’s possible for young children and the elderly to develop eating disorders as well.
Signs of Eating Disorders
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I Wish I Knew More About You Like What Kind Of Cereal You Like
This is actually how I learned that my therapist has celiac disease and, therefore, is not much of a cereal person.
While every clinician will be different around how much theyre willing to self-disclose, theres no rule that says you cant ask about them. Some clinicians actually encourage it.
There are clients who dont want to know anything about their therapists. Thats absolutely fine! Others, like me, feel more able to open up emotionally if they feel like they know their therapist in some way. Thats fine too!
And if you have a very smart therapist? Theyll know exactly where to draw the line to keep any self-disclosures in service of your healing and growth .
If you want to know more about your therapist, its okay to ask whether its about cereal, their work philosophy, or their relevant life experience. You can trust that as a professional, theyll know how to navigate this skillfully, without oversharing or shifting the therapeutic dynamic.
And if they dont handle it well? Thats feedback that will be helpful for them to hear, too.
Find A Qualified Therapist Who Has Special Training In Working With Anorexics And Bulimics
The Academy for Eating Disorders and the International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals maintain memberships lists of qualified therapists. Both of these organizations have stringent requirements for professional training before they will allow health care professionals to become members. The AED also publishes an annual directory of health care professionals with information about each members practice . A number of other directories also exist online at websites such as the Eating Disorders Referral Center , Something Fishy and Pale Reflections . In addition, most hospitals with inpatient eating disorder units as well as other independent eating disorder treatment facilities list their staff members as part of their website information.
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Youre Already Wondering Whether Or Not To See A Mental Health Professional About Your Food Habits
If anyone is questioning , its a good idea to seek the help, Goldman says. Its basically your mind hinting that you could benefit from talking to a professional.
Every therapist is different, but theres no harm in going and meeting with someone, Goldman says. If it doesnt work out for some reason, other styles of therapy and other psychologists. Its really about finding a person youre comfortable with.
So, where should you start? Finding a therapist can be a struggle, but there are some good resources out there. NEDA has a Helpline you can call at 800-931-2237 to find treatment options near you. It operates Monday through Thursday from 9 A.M. to 9 P.M. ET and Friday from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. ET. They also have an online database of treatment options that you can search through using various filters, like limiting results to sliding scale options or based on the type of eating issues you have.
You can also try resources like the National Alliance on Mental Healths HelpLine at 800-950-6264, which is available Monday through Friday, from 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. ET, or online search tools like GoodTherapy and Psychology Today. While some legwork might be necessary to find a therapist you click with, repairing your relationship with food really is worth it.