Eating Disorders in Miami, FL—Therapy and Counseling
Ellen should be living her best years as a woman in her young 20s. She should be in school, pursuing her education and career. She should be having new experiences and enjoying her youth. But Ellen is fighting an eating disorder that has stolen much of her life. Instead of living as a normal 20-year-old, Ellen has moved back home to pursue treatment for anorexia. Netflix’s movie, To the Bone, portrays the highs and lows of recovery. Ellen’s journey is fictional, but it depicts a reality that many experience. Bulimia, anorexia, and other eating disorders pose significant threats to many people’s health—as many as 30 million people, in fact, struggle with an eating disorder in the United States.
“I breathe in slowly. Food is life. I exhale, take another breath. Food is life.
And that’s the problem. When you’re alive, people can hurt you.
It’s easier to crawl into a bone cage or a snowdrift of confusion.
It’s easier to lock everybody out. But it’s a lie.”
― Laurie Halse Anderson, Wintergirls
People are whole beings—mind, body, and soul. A physical illness, like cancer, can affect people’s mental health as well. A mental illness often takes its toll on an individual’s body. Eating disorders may display this mind-body connection more than any other mental illness. Often, an eating disorder processes an emotional wound and psychological pain through inflicting physical pain upon the body, and they affect all kinds of people. The stereotype of anorexia and bulimia are young girls, but the reality is that both men and women struggle—both young and old can suffer.
Just as eating disorders touch people’s bodies and minds, healing must be holistic—addressing physical and emotional needs. And effective treatments are available. Many people are pursuing physical, pharmacological, and psychological interventions, and finding the healing they need. Acknowledging the problem and reaching out for help are often the first steps in healing. When you are ready for treatment, the eating disorder professionals at Thriveworks Miami are ready to support your journey. We have helped many clients find the physical and emotional interventions that fit their symptoms and life.
Eating Disorders and Medical Complications
At times, people who are fighting an eating disorder will receive compliments from their loved ones on how thin or skinny they appear. While these adulations are almost always offered with hopes of helping, but they expose how many people conflate two concepts that are not synonymous: being skinny and being healthy are not the same. In fact, eating disorders often come with severe health risks, and anorexia has the highest death rate of any other psychiatric disorder.
The medical complications associated with anorexia include infertility, heart failure, menstrual cycle disruptions, kidney damage, endocrine disruptions, low white blood cells, abnormal heart beat, low heart rate, premature osteoporosis, anemia, low blood pressure, and death.
The medical complications associated with bulimia include gastric rupture, electrolyte imbalance, tooth decay, gastroesophageal reflux disease, ulcers, and kidney damage, heart failure. These severe risks must be met with serious treatment. Early intervention is often a key to treatment and bypassing some of the more severe medical conditions that eating disorders can produce. One of the keys to early intervention is recognizing eating disorders in their early stages, before they escalate.
Recognizing Eating Disorders
There are several different types of eating disorders, and each has its own unique symptoms and signs. The two more recognizable ones are bulimia and anorexia, and The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) outlines diagnostics for identifying them.
Anorexia’s symptoms include:
- An inaccurate self-perception—even the inability to see one’s body correctly. Seeing one’s body as heavier and larger than what one is in reality.
- Feeling disgust at one’s own weight, size, and shape.
- An illogical and crippling fear of putting on weight. This fear leads to actions that undermine the maintenance of a healthy weight.
- Reducing the amount of food one eats so that a lower body weight is achieved than what is healthy for one’s sex, physical health, age, and development.
Bulimia’s symptoms include:
- Binge eating that includes…
- Losing control over what one eats for a certain period of time.
- During that period of time, consuming more food and drink than other people would or could consume in the same period.
- Compensating for these binges by attempting to lose weight through unhealthy means—for example, misusing medications like diuretics and laxatives, exercising excessively and extremely, fasting too frequently and for too long, or causing oneself to vomit.
- When one’s body dominates one’s self-perceptions, and other important aspects of identity are ignored or downplayed, like intelligence, skills, and personality.
Help for Eating Disorders at Thriveworks Miami, FL
The therapists and counselors at Thriveworks Miami know the serious harm that eating disorders can bring to people’s emotional and physical health. We understand that treatment must be holistic—addressing the body and the mind. We also understand that reaching out for help takes courage. The staff at Thriveworks Miami wants our clients to feel supported from the moment they dial our office. When you call, here is what you can expect…
- A person (not a voicemail) will answer and help you find an appointment.
- Weekend and evening sessions are available.
- Your first appointment may be within 24 hours.
- Most forms of insurance are accepted.
We can fight eating disorders together. Contact Thriveworks Miami today.