Anorexia or Bulimia in Kennesaw, GA—Counseling, Therapy, and Treatment

There is a strong link between eating disorders and Hollywood as more and more stars are speaking publicly about their struggle with bulimia or anorexia. Shawn Johnson, Lily Collins, Zayn Malik, Demi Lovato, Jane Fonda, Elton John, Kesha, Zoe Kravitz, Hilary Duff, and Russell Brand are just a few who wrestle with irregular eating habits and a negatively distorted image of their body.

But normal people—not just celebrities—struggle with eating disorders. Approximately 30 million people fight anorexia or bulimia. Men and women can develop eating disorders, and while bulimia and anorexia usually surface during adolescence, they can occur at any age. Yet, less than 10 percent of people receive the treatment they need.

It might be tempting to minimize anorexia or bulimia as a picky or finicky phase in a person’s life, but that perpetuates a dangerous stigma and may prevent people from receiving care. Reality is that anorexia and bulimia can cause severe harm to a person’s health. Anorexia even has the highest death rates of any psychiatric disorder. Some describe anorexia and bulimia as slow suicide. Getting people the treatment they need is of the utmost importance.

And effective treatments are available for eating disorders. Psychological, nutritional, and medical interventions can be tailored to an individual’s unique needs and symptoms. Reaching out for help takes courage, but it is often the first step in re-establishing healthy eating patterns and body image.

The therapists at Thriveworks Kennesaw often help clients who are fighting disordered eating. We know the medical risks that people with bulimia and anorexia face, and we want to provide integrated care.

Health Risks of Anorexia and Bulimia

Well-intentioned people may admire how slim or skinny an anorexic or bulimic appears, but these compliments may encourage the eating disorder. Certain cultural beliefs unfortunately shame people who are overweight, and in the midst of so much confusion about what is healthy and unhealthy, it is important not to over-emphasize skinness or slimness. Skinny and healthy are very different concepts and goals, and people who struggle with anorexia and bulimia also face an increased risk of severe health problems.

Anorexia often lowers people’s heart rate, blood pressure and increases their risk of an abnormal heartbeat and heart failure. Anorexia can also disrupt a woman’s menstrual cycle and lead to infertility. Other health risks include endocrine disruptions, anemia, premature osteoporosis, kidney damage, premature osteoporosis, and even death.

Bulimia may also cause heart failure and death, but many of its health risks threaten the digestive system. Bulimia is associated with higher risks of gastric rupture, ulcer, tooth decay, gastroesophageal reflux disease, electrolyte imbalance, kidney disease, and constipation.

Diagnoses and Characterizations

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) recognizes many kinds of eating disorder, and anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are probably the most well-known.

They share many similar characterizations. Anorexia and bulimia often are accompanied by depression and/or an anxiety disorder. They can develop in both men and women. While they usually surface during adolescence or young adulthood, people of all ages struggle with bulimia and anorexia. Yet, they are also two distinct eating disorders.

The DSM-5 gives the following diagnostics for anorexia nervosa:

  • A severe and irrational fear of weight gain that results in intentional efforts to thwart healthy weight maintenance and gain.
  • Contempt for one’s weight and body shape with an inability to comprehend the low body weight.
  • Strictly limiting food intake to achieve a substantially lower body weight in relationship to normal standards that account for a person’s physical health, age, sex, and developmental trajectory.

The DSM-5 gives the following diagnostics for bulimia nervosa:

  • Repeated times of binge eating, including,
    • Eating, in a certain amount of time, food that is clearly more than most people could eat during the same amount of time and under similar circumstances.
    • Uncontrollable food consumption during the binge.
  • In response to the food binge, repetitive, unhealthy behaviors that try to avoid weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting; misusing laxatives, diuretics, or other medications; fasting; or excessively exercising.
  • A self-conception that is dominated by one’s body shape and weight.

Treating Anorexia and Bulimia

When you read through the diagnostics for anorexia and bulimia, did any of the characteristic remind you of behaviors in your life? Does someone you know exhibit these signs and symptoms? If so, know that help is available. Thriveworks Kennesaw treats bulimia and anorexia, and we want each client to receive the individualized care they deserve.

It takes courage to reach out for help, and we want our clients to feel supported from the first moment they interact with our office. When you call to schedule an appointment at Thriveworks Kennesaw, a scheduling specialist will answer and help you make an appointment. We provide convenient weekend and evening sessions. Many first-time clients are able to meet with their therapist the day after their call. We also work with many insurance plans.

We can work together to fight bulimia and anorexia. Call Thriveworks Kennesaw to get started.

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  • 3900 Legacy Park Blvd. Suite D-100
    Kennesaw , GA 30144

  • Mon-Fri:8AM-9PM