If you’re fighting an eating disorder, you know how isolating and confusing it can be. Eating disorders are deceptive and destructive, spurred on by the unrealistic ideals society places on us for body image and weight.
So much goes into an eating disorder, it can be hard to know where to even begin recovery. Thriveworks Counseling wants you to know that you aren’t alone. We can’t fight your battles for you, but we can support, encourage, and guide you towards a future where you are free from eating disorders.
Feeling trapped in an eating disorder is never a result of being weak, confused, or obsessed. An eating disorder is not your fault. It is a culmination of societal pressures, coping mechanisms, and unhealthy thinking patterns. It’s not a reflection of who you are or a projection of what your future will look like.
An eating disorder is something you might be fighting, but it is never a part of you. And with our Thriveworks Columbus (Polaris) team, you can beat eating disorders and live a happy, healthy, and fully satisfying life. People should be able to seek the care that they need, and you can find this help at Thriveworks Columbus, Ohio (Polaris) by calling (614) 300-2755.
What Is an Eating Disorder?
Eating disorders come in all types. While there are defining characteristics of certain disorders, they mostly exist on a spectrum. A spectrum of eating disorders can be confusing because we are taught that you must meet certain strict criteria to have an eating disorder. Oftentimes, people don’t think they’re “bad enough” to have an eating disorder. This is a lie your eating disorder tells you to keep you from recovery!
There is no “bad enough”. If you are struggling with eating habits, food, weight, calories, body-image, or emotional eating, it’s worth getting help. Thriveworks Columbus Polaris is a no-judgment office. Our counselors and therapists will meet you where you’re at, wherever that is!
Because there is such a wide array of eating habits and disorders, it’s easy to get lost in the symptoms. If you’re worried you or a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, it can help to look into the three broad types of eating disorders: anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder.
What Are the Symptoms of Anorexia?
Anorexia kills more people in the United States than any other mental illness. It is a serious eating disorder that, when left untreated, can become so low-calorie that vital organs begin to shut down. Thriveworks Columbus (Polaris) Eating Disorder Counselors and therapists have ample experience working with people who are struggling with anorexia, and we can help you, too.
Another aspect of anorexia that makes it difficult is its deep, destructive desire to exist. Everything in you might be saying don’t reach out. Anorexia wants to survive. It wants to convince you that you’ll finally be happy only if you’re a few pounds lighter. Reaching out for help when you have anorexia can be a huge leap of strength and courage. Thriveworks Polaris thanks you for having that strength and courage now.
A few signs to look for in yourself or a loved one include:
- Significantly low body weight for one’s age, history, developmental trajectory, and physical health
- Dramatic weight loss
- Restricting food
- Counting calories
- Unusual amounts of exercise
- A lot of thoughts focused around food, weight, or body shape
- Strong desires for a different size/shape
- Wearing baggy clothes to hide weight loss or body shape
Freedom from anorexia might feel like a far-fetched dream, but it is possible. It won’t always be easy, but with a licensed counselor, you can begin taking the steps towards a healthy future today.
What Are the Symptoms of Bulimia?
Bulimia is the cousin of anorexia and is equally as nasty. They share some similarities in thought processes and drives, but it is the binge-purge cycle that sets bulimia apart.
It is also this binge and then purge cycle that is so destructive and exhausting. It can feel never ending, like a hamster on a wheel. But it is possible to break the cycle and have a healthy relationship with your body and food. Thriveworks Polaris can provide the support and professional guidance needed to get there.
To understand bulimia, we need to understand it’s two main components: the binge and the purge.
The binge is an uncontrolled consumption of an unusually large amount of food. What brings on the binge varies from person to person, but it almost always ends in shame, fear of gaining weight, and guilt. These become the catalyst for the purge.
The purge is anything that is used to dispose of calories. It can be forced vomiting, diuretics, excessive exercise, fasting, or any other way to limit calorie intake and “undo the damage” of the binge.
A lie people struggling with bulimia might hear is “You just need to be stronger. Next time, be better.”
This is a huge lie! You are not weak. The bulimia cycle is not your fault. Many factors affect eating disorders, but a personal flaw is not one of them. In fact, Thriveworks Polaris has seen client’s strength and courage overcome extraordinary odds. You are far from weak.
Some signs of bulimia include:
- Having a binge episode (eating excessive amounts of food when the situation does not call for it, feeling out of control or like you can’t stop while eating.)
- Trying to counteract the binge by purging (vomiting, exercise, fasting, etc.)
- Being preoccupied with shape and body image, feeling shame or a desire to change
- Weight fluctuations
- Dehydration or other vitamin imbalances
There is hope if you are fighting bulimia. Thriveworks Polaris is ready to fight with you.
What Are the Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder?
Binge eating disorder (BED) is rising to become one of the most common mental health disorders.
We’ve said it already, but we’ll say it again- struggling with binge eating disorder does not make you weak! Binge eating disorder can be a result of using food as a main coping mechanism, or it can be a response to chronic yo-yo dieting.
Recovery, however, is always a choice. With Thriveworks Polaris, recovery is within reach. BED has a high recovery rate once action is taken, and our eating disorder counselors will be here to walk with you every step of the way!
If you think you or a loved one is struggling with binge eating disorder, look for these symptoms:
- Feeling depressed or anxious
- Disgusted at yourself, your habits, or your body
- Binge eating, oftentimes alone where no one can see you eat
- Feeling out of control when eating
- Embarrassed about eating patterns
- Continuously eating even after full (to the point of pain)
- Feeling a lack of emotions when eating
- Feeling like eating is the only way you can cope with high emotions
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If you feel none of these diagnoses perfectly fit, please know there is overlap in all eating disorder behaviors across all diagnoses. In fact, many people struggle with many types of eating disorder behaviors and can suffer from Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder, Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, Orthorexia, and Purging Disorder. These disorders are just as serious and deserve just as much help as the diagnoses people commonly know and understand.
Eating disorders are isolating, confusing, and detrimental to our happiness and health. Thriveworks Columbus Polaris therapists and counselors understand that reaching out when you’re struggling with an eating disorder might be the last thing you want to do. But even taking the time and strength to read this proves that you have what it takes to overcome an eating disorder. You deserve to live a life free from the restrictions of eating disorders.
When you’re ready to take that leap, Thriveworks Polaris will be here. You can call for more information or to schedule an appointment at (614) 300-2755.