Eating disorders were once thought to be diseases that affect elite, young females around pre-adolescence to adolescence age group. However, studies show that eating disorders are prevalent in nearly the same rate between the two genders, and their prevalence is not limited to the elite, athletes, or even specific ethnic groups.
Eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating are complex in origin. There is no one reason that causes them or is even in common in all of them. Additionally, mood issues such as depression, bipolar disorder and several types of anxiety disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder are commonly associated with one or more eating disorders.
One of the common misconceptions about eating disorders is their relationship with thinness. Though societal push toward thinness and unusual body types is a source of stress in many people’s lives, eating disorders are not necessarily an attempt toward thinness that has gone out of control. Sufferers of eating disorders often use dieting, overeating, restrictions, and unusual choices of food as a way to cope with stress or to deal with overwhelming emotions. The acts of starving, binging, purging, or restricting are often associated with some type of attempted control over overwhelming feelings of anxiety, fear, poor self-esteem, and unpleasant negative thoughts about one’s circumstances.
Environmental, cultural and even genetic factors do play a role in promoting eating disorders, but none are responsible for their occurrence.
At the Feeling Good Therapy and Training Center of Fremont, psychologists are trained in treating eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, pica, binge eating disorder, overeating, stress-eating, carbohydrate and sugar addictions, as well as late night eating and irregular eating habits. Our team of clinical health psychologists is trained in the biopsychosocial model of eating behavior, as well as psychological factors and cultural factors that influence eating behavior. Through individual and family psychotherapy sessions, as well as personally tailored behavioral and cognitive changes in between the sessions, persons affected with eating disorders find the relief they are looking for. A complete treatment plan often does include consultation and planning along with physicians and dieticians involved in the team of providers.