Compulsive Overeating, Bulimia, and Anorexia
Compulsive Overeating, Bulimia, and Anorexia are forms of disordered eating that arise from feelings of low self worth, a sense of unlovability, and trouble handling the intensities of the inner experience. Effective treatment for true recovery involves cognitive behavioral, behavioral, and insight-oriented therapies, as well as consultations when necessary for nutritional and medical support.
Many of the clients I see for eating disorders have suffered from their disorder for most of their life. They have been in treatment before, gone on diets, taken medication and feel that there is not effective treatment for them, and can not imagine spending the rest of their life feeling consumed by feelings of self hate, incessant thoughts of eating or not eating, and judging their value by the number on the scale. There is hope for true recovery.
By truly understanding the emotional elements of your eating disorder and working though them as well as combining effective behavioral, nutritional and medical therapies, you can recover. It will not be easy or fast, but it can be done.
Because women (and men) who suffer from eating disorders often feel that they “should” be able to just “control” their behavior, they often suffer from intense shame and feelings of helplessness. These feelings are reinforced by repeated unsuccessful attempts at dieting or other programs aimed at fixing just the “eating” element of the disorder. The truth is: If it were that easy, everyone would be thin and healthy. Food can be the most complicated relationship in your life. How you think about food, how you use food to meet your non-physical needs, how food is used in your body to create feelings of calm, are some of the most intricate connections in our life. We cannot achieve recovery and a healthy relationship with food and our body by self-hate, blaming, shaming, and punishment. To achieve true health we need to gently and lovingly look at the emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and physical aspects of your relationship with food, and make small sustainable changes that will lead you down a path of health and balance.