Treatment for Eating Disorders in Seattle, WA—Counseling and Therapy
During the 1994 Olympics, Americans could not get enough of Nancy Kerrigan. She was a national hero—coming back from an assault to win a silver medal in figure skating. People saw her grace and power on the ice, but what they did not see was her battle against an eating disorder. The pressure and the spotlight were on Kerrigan that year, and Kerrigan explained that she felt out of control. Eating, however, was one thing she felt like she could control. However, eating disorders only offer false promises of control. Recently, she opened up about that struggle to break free from the eating disorder, and she announced that she is producing a documentary about athletes and eating disorders called, Why Don’t You Lose Five Pounds? Eating disorders are a common mental illness that can affect anyone, including elite athletes, but they are often hidden. “There is a lot of shame in eating disorders so that people do not want to admit they have a problem, but in reality, it is killing them inside,” a runner who is in recovery explained. That shame and isolation are characteristics of eating disorders. Here is a small picture of what they are and how they function:
- Eating disorders come in many forms, including bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, diabulimia, and avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder.
- Sixteen percent of transgender college students have an eating disorder.
- Men and women of every age, race, and ethnicity can be affected by an eating disorder.
- Eating disorders claim the highest mortality rate of psychiatric disorders.
- Thirty million Americans are battling an eating disorder.
Eating disorders are not picky eating phases. They do not come and go. They are progressive and potentially deadly. They also have treatments. There are no magic formulas or quick-fixes for recovery, but eating disorders have treatments. In many cases, the sooner an individual reaches out for help, the better. And help is available. Thriveworks Seattle offering treatment for eating disorders.
Causes for Eating Disorders
How eating disorders develop and the details of what may cause them can vary from person to person, but the causes of eating disorders can be generally grouped into the two categories of biological and environmental causes.
- Environmental causes: family or childhood trauma; peer pressures; and culture fixated upon thinness, certain body types, and narrow ideals of beauty.
- Biological causes: nutritional deficiencies, genetics, and irregular hormone functions.
Symptoms and Signs of Eating Disorders
Certain signs and symptoms accompany all eating disorders, regardless of what form they take. For example, eating disorders induce severe anxiety within an individual about their body size and weight. People become obsessed with their body and neglect other aspects of their identity. Eating disorders always involve some form of unhealthy and abnormal food consumption. This unhealthy eating pattern may involve undereating, overeating, or some combination of the two. Often, another psychological disorder develops congruently with the eating disorder, such as depression or anxiety. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) specifies diagnostics for recognizing several types of eating disorders, but two of the most well-known are bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa.
The diagnostics for anorexia include…
- Experiencing disdains for one’s body shape or weight.
- Restricting food consumption to achieve a substantially lower body weight (in comparison to healthy standards for an individual’s sex, age, developmental trajectory, and physical health).
- Experiencing intense fear at the thought of gaining weight or being fat.
- Sabotaging healthy weight maintenance or gain.
- An inaccurate perception of one’s body shape and weight—seeing oneself as heavier and larger than reality.
- Anorexia may cause a host of health problems, including abnormal heart beat, infertility, risk of heart failure and disease, disruptions in menstrual cycle, premature osteoporosis, kidney damage, low white blood cell counts, low heart rate, low blood pressure, disruptions in the endocrine system, anemia, and ultimately death.
The diagnostics for bulimia include…
- Repeatedly binge eating defined by:
- Ingesting more food in a specific time period than others could eat in the same period and in the same circumstances.
- Lost control over how much food and drink are consumed.
- Attempting to offset the eating binge through actions such as forced vomiting, extreme fasting, overusing/misusing laxative and diuretics, extreme exercising.
- A self-perception that emphasizes body weight and shape over other identifying characteristics such as intellect, personality, emotional intelligence, and more.
- Bulimia may cause a host of health problems, including ulcers, electrolyte imbalance, kidney damage, constipation, gastric rupture, gastroesophageal reflux disease, tooth decay, and heart failure.
Scheduling an Appointment at Thriveworks Seattle for Eating Disorders
“Paradoxically, the thing that they think is going to help them is actually the thing that is going to end them.” —Erin Savas, Eating Disorder Therapist
If you are experiencing the high toll of an eating disorder, the therapists at Thriveworks Seattle want you to know that you are not alone. You do not have to fight disordered eating by yourself. Treatment options are available, and many have found the healing they deserved. When you call our office, you may be meeting with your therapist the following day. New clients often have an appointment within 24 hours of their first call. We offer evening and weekend sessions, and we accept many different forms of insurance. We know that battling an eating disorder is challenging, so scheduling therapy should not be. Call today.