Therapy and Counseling for Eating Disorders in Los Angeles, CA
More and more celebrities are speaking out publicly about their very personal struggle against eating disorders—stars like Russell Brand, Kesha, Demi Lovato, Whitney Cummings, Elton John, Gabourey Sidibe, Jane Fonda, Zayn Malik, Portia De Rossi, Zosia Mamet, Candace Cameron Bure, Lady Gaga, and more. In many ways, these brave people are shining light on a big problem that many people face. As many as 30 million people in the United States struggle with anorexia, bulimia, or another form of an eating disorder. They know the daily struggle of a contentious relationship with their own bodies.
“To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.”
― Simone de Beauvoir
People’s minds and bodies are interconnected—they are whole beings. Physical illnesses affect the mind, and mental illnesses affect the body. This reality is on full display in eating disorders. Of all psychiatric disorders, anorexia claims the highest death rate. The physical and emotional wounds that eating disorders can inflict have treatments, but only about 10 percent of people who struggle receive the treatment they need. Thriveworks Los Angeles would love to change that statistics. We understand the physical and emotional risks that eating disorders pose, and we have helped many people find the healing they need. Our professionals offer holistic care for their clients’ bodies and minds.
Identifying Eating Disorders
One of the keys to early intervention and treatment is learning to identify what eating disorders are and typical behavior that may be a sign someone is struggling. While there are many mental illnesses that fall under the category of “eating disorder,” the two most common types are bulimia and anorexia. As many as The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) specific criteria for recognizing each.
Anorexia nervosa is defined as:
- An overwhelming fear of being overweight or fat with accompanies actions to undermine healthy weight maintenance and gain.
- Experience disdain for one’s body along with an inaccurate body-image that perceives one’s body as larger and heavier than reality.
- Impeding the maintenance of a healthy weight by severely limiting one’s food consumption (in comparison to healthy averages for one’s age, sex, development, and physical health).
Anorexia comes with a host of potential health complications such as anemia, low heart rate, low blood pressure, kidney damage, low white blood cell counts, abnormal heartbeat, disruptions in menstrual cycle, risk of heart failure and disease, infertility, disruptions in the endocrine system, premature osteoporosis, and premature death.
Bulimia nervosa is defined as:
- Attempting to curb weight gain through means such as fasting for too long and too often, exercising excessively, inducing vomit after eating, and/or misusing medications such as diuretics and laxatives.
- Repeatedly binging on large amounts of food. Specifically, binges will involve…
- Lost control over what one eats and drinks.
- During the time period of the binge, consuming more than what most people would or could consume under the same circumstances.
- A body image that is overwhelmed by one’s body weight and shape while qualities such as one’s skills, intellect, and personality are downplayed or ignored.
Bulimia can also raise people’s risk for certain medical conditions such as ulcers, electrolyte imbalance, gastroesophageal reflux disease, tooth decay, gastric rupture, constipation, kidney damage, and heart failure.
What Might Cause Eating Disorders?
The specifics of when, why, and how an eating disorder is caused within an individual’s life will be unique and often sensitive. No two stories are exactly the same. Speaking in general terms, however, mental health professionals speak about two types of causes for eating disorders—environmental and biological.
- Environmental Causes: Cultural expectations and attitudes can cultivate an environment where eating disorders are more likely to develop. When one body type is prized over others, people feel the pressure to conform. Other environmental causes include childhood trauma and family stress. Controlling what one eats may be a way of coping with other forms of pain.
- Biological Causes: Some people have a genetic predisposition that raises their risk of an eating disorder. Irregular hormone functions can affect weight and appetite so that eating disorders are more likely. Similarly, nutritional deficiencies may make it easier for an eating disorder to develop.
Interventions for Eating Disorders—Setting up Therapy with Thriveworks Los Angeles
While reading about bulimia and anorexia, did anything pop out to you? Did you recognize any of the sign or symptoms in your own life? If you did, you are not alone. There is help for restoring a healthy relationship with one’s own body and to heal the underlying causes of the disorder. The mental health professionals at Thriveworks Los Angeles offer holistic treatment that addresses both the body and the mind. Our counselors and therapists work hard to build a caring, trusting relationship with each client and offer them personalized care.
Reaching out for care is more easily said than done, and Thriveworks Los Angeles acknowledges that it takes courage call and set up an appointment for therapy. We have done our best to be supportive from the moment you dial our office. When you call, a real person (not an automated response system!) will answer and help you make an appointment. Many new clients have their first appointment the following day. We even offer weekend and evening sessions. We also accept most forms of insurance.
Let’s work together to fight anorexia and bulimia. Contact Thriveworks Los Angeles today. We are ready to get started.