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Therapy for Anorexia or Bulimia in Newport News, VA—Counseling for Eating Disorders

Lily Collins, Zayn Malik, Demi Lovato, Jane Fonda, Elton John, Kesha, Zoe Kravitz, Shawn Johnson, Hilary Duff, and Russell Brand are only a few celebrities who have spoken publicly about their struggle with anorexia or bulimia. Eating disorders are often associated with Hollywood and celebrity culture, but the reality is that many average people struggle with irregular eating habits and experience deep distress about their weight and/or body shape.

It might be tempting to think of anorexia or bulimia is a phase that people grow out of, but they are actually life-threatening illnesses. When left untreated, eating disorders are associated with severe health problems, and anorexia has the highest death rates of any psychiatric disorder.

Unfortunately, less than 10 percent of people who struggle with anorexia or bulimia find the treatment they deserve. And eating disorders are treatable illnesses. There are many psychological and medical treatment avenues that can be tailored and applied to each individual’s needs and symptoms, but the first step in successful treatment may be asking for help.

Thriveworks Newport News offers therapy for anorexia and bulimia. Our counselors understand the health risks that people face with eating disorders, and they are committed to providing the holistic care that each client needs.

Signs and Symptoms

Bulimia and anorexia are two of the most common types of eating disorders. Any eating disorder is characterized by abnormal eating practices accompanied by severe anxiety about body weight and size. Abnormal eating practices may include too little or too much food intake, and they often come with other psychological challenges such as PTSD, anxiety disorders, or depression. Both men and women suffer from eating disorders, and they typical first surface in a person’s life during adolescence or young adulthood.

Anorexia nervosa is most commonly known simply as anorexia, and it is characterized, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) by the following characteristics:

  • Intense and illogical fear of weight gain that leads to interference with healthy weight maintenance and gain.
  • Intentionally limiting energy intake that results in a substantially lower body weight in relation to sex, age, developmental trajectory, and physical health.
  • Disdain for one’s body shape or weight; inability to see the low body weight.

Bulimia nervosa is most commonly known simply as bulimia. The DSM-5 characterizes bulimia as:

  • Repeating incidents of binge eating, including,
    • Eating, in a certain period of time, food that is clearly more than most people could eat during the same period of time and with similar circumstances.
    • Loss of control over eating during the episode.
  • Repeated, inappropriate, compensatory behaviors that attempt to prevent weight gain, such as misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or other medications; self-induced vomiting; fasting; or excessive exercise.
  • A self-perception that is consumed by body weight and shape.

Causes of Anorexia and Bulimia

The causes of anorexia and bulimia are varied and personal, but professionals recognize two general categories that contribute to these eating disorders: environmental causes and biological causes.

  1. Environmental causes may include living in a culture obsessed with thinness, body type, and unrealistic ideals of beauty; childhood or family trauma; and peer pressure to look a certain way.
  2. Biological causes may include irregular hormone functions, nutritional deficiencies, and genetics.

Health Effects

People who struggle with anorexia and bulimia may often receive compliments about how pretty or healthy they look, but these compliments can serve a destructive purpose. While intended for good, these compliments encourage a potentially deadly illness. Skinny does not equal healthy, and unfortunately, anorexia and bulimia cause a host of severe health problems.

Anorexia is associated with low heart rate, low blood pressure, abnormal heart beat, risk of heart failure and disease, disruptions in the endocrine system, infertility, disruptions in menstrual cycle, premature osteoporosis, anemia, low white blood cell counts, kidney damage, and ultimately death.

Bulimia is associated with ulcers, tooth decay, gastroesophageal reflux disease, gastric rupture, kidney damage, constipation, electrolyte imbalance, and heart failure.

Treatment for Anorexia and Bulimia

As you read through the symptoms and causes of anorexia and bulimia, were there any that stood out to you? Do you or does someone you love exhibit these behaviors and attitudes? If so, know that there are many treatment plans available to anyone suffering from anorexia or bulimia. Thriveworks Newport News offers counseling for eating disorders, and our therapists form a treatment plan that is tailored to each client’s needs.

We know that reaching out for help takes courage, and we aim to support you from the moment you call our office throughout your treatment. When you call, a scheduling specialist will answer and make your appointment. We offer convenient sessions times—including nights and weekends. We also work with many insurance providers.

Help for bulimia and anorexia is available. You do not have to fight an eating disorder alone. Call Thriveworks Newport News today.

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  • 8 San Jose Dr Suite 3E
    Newport News , VA 23606

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