Anorexia and Bulimia Treatment in Westborough, MA—Worcester Therapy and Counseling
More and more celebrities are opening up to the public about their diagnosis of anorexia or bulimia, linking, for many people, disordered eating with Hollywood culture. Shawn Johnson, Zayn Malik, Lily Collins, Demi Lovato, Elton John, Jane Fonda, Kesha, Hilary Duff, Zoe Kravitz, and Russell Brand are just a handful of the stars who have spoken about how an eating disorder has led to a negatively warped body image and unhealthy, compulsive eating habits. But eating disorders do not just plague those in the entertainment industry. About 30 million Americans fight anorexia or bulimia.
Eating disorders can develop in both women and men. While they usually begin during the teen years, anorexia and bulimia may surface at any age—young or old. Despite their prevalence, fewer than 10 percent of people find the intervention they deserve for their eating disorder.
There is a dangerous myth about anorexia and bulimia that minimizes these serious disorders: some people see them a finicky or picky phases that people naturally grow out of. The truth is that anorexia and bulimia can severely harm people’s health. Anorexia, in particular, holds the highest rates of death for all psychiatric disorders. It is of the utmost importance that people receive the intervention they need.
Fortunately, treatment is available. Nutritional, psychological, and medical professionals can form a multi-disciplinary treatment plan that meets each individual’s symptoms and needs. It takes courage to acknowledge disordered eating, but recognizing the illness and seeking treatment may be the first step toward a healthy body image and eating pattern.
Thriveworks Counseling in Westborough offers therapy for bulimia and anorexia. Our counselors understand the medical and psychological risks that these eating disorders bring to their clients, and we are committed to providing holistic care.
Anorexia’s and Bulimia’s Health Risks
People who mean well may praise someone who struggles with anorexia or bulimia on how slim and healthy they appear. These compliments usually come with kind intentions, but they may also encourage a serious disorder. Unfortunately, American culture has linked the concepts of thin and healthy, but they are not synonymous. In fact, being too skinny or pursuing a slim figure through unhealthy means can put a person’s health in serious risk. Anorexia and bulimia both raise a person’s risk for certain health problems.
Anorexia can cause a host of cardiovascular problems, including low blood pressure, abnormal heartbeat, low heart rate, and heart failure. For women, they may experience a disrupted menstrual cycle and possibly even infertility. Endocrine disruptions, premature osteoporosis, anemia, kidney damage, premature osteoporosis, and death are other health risks associated with anorexia.
Bulimia may also lead to death and heart failure. Many of the health risks associated with bulimia concern the digestive system. Bulimia may cause gastric rupture, tooth decay, ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, kidney disease, electrolyte imbalance, and constipation.
Distinguishing Signs and Symptoms
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) contains several different types of eating disorders, and bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa may be the most recognizable. They are often spoken about together because they share many signs and symptoms. Depression and/or anxiety disorders often co-occur with them. They both involve a distorted body image with compulsive eating habits. But they are also distinct diagnoses.
The DSM-5 distinguishes anorexia nervosa with the following criteria:
- An acute and illogical fear of gaining weight that leads to intentional efforts that impede healthy weight gain and maintenance.
- Severely limiting food consumption to attain a substantially lower body weight than normal standards for a person’s sex, age, physical health, and developmental trajectory.
- Feeling disdain for one’s body weight and size while experiencing one’s body weight and size as significantly larger and heavier than reality.
The DSM-5 distinguishes bulimia nervosa with the following criteria:
- A self-perception that is monopolized by one’s body weight and shape.
- Binge eating repeatedly that includes actions such as,
- Consuming more food than most people would eat in similar circumstances and during a similar amount of time.
- Losing control over eating during the binge.
- Responding to food consumption, in particular a binge, with unhealthy behaviors that try to offset caloric intake such as misusing medications such as diuretics or laxative; self-induced vomiting; fasting excessively; exercising unreasonably.
Treatment Anorexia and Bulimia at Thriveworks Counseling in Westborough, MA
While reading about anorexia and bulimia, if you recognized any of the behaviors and/or attitudes in your own life, know that therapy is available at Thriveworks Counseling in Westborough, MA. Our counselors have helped many clients re-establish a healthy body image and healthy eating habits, and we want to offer everyone the holistic care they need.
When you call our office to schedule treatment, here are a few things you can expect from us. We offer convenient weekend and evening sessions, and we never put clients on a waitlist. Instead, many people see their counselor within 24 hours of their call. When you set up an appointment, a person will answer your call and help you. We also accept many different forms of insurance.
Let’s battle anorexia and bulimia together. Call Thriveworks in Westborough to start.