Willow Grove, PA—Counseling for Eating Disorders
Many people struggling with an eating disorder do so in silence. It is a quiet battle, one that can be accompanied with shame, guilt, and confusion.
To make things worse for those fighting an eating disorder, it can be hard or near impossible for loved ones to understand it if they have not gone through it themselves. Even the best intentions can backfire because of the tricky, deceptive nature of an eating disorder.
“Your weight doesn’t matter that much.” “Why don’t you just eat?” “It’s not that hard to stop!” These are things that people struggling with an eating disorder have heard. In reality, an eating disorder is a consuming, destructive cycle plagued with trying to get better, and falling back into old habits and desires.
Willow Grove Thriveworks is working to end the stigma around eating disorders and get help to those who need it, so call for an appointment today 267-685-3197.
Although it can be a hard, uphill battle, you can overcome an eating disorder! If you or someone you love are struggling with their body image and/or eating habits, Willow Grove Thriveworks is here to help you recover and learn to love yourself and your body again.
How Does Someone Develop an Eating Disorder?
Eating disorders seem counterintuitive to what the body wants, so how do people develop them? Everyone’s path is different, but it is often a slow process.
Many times, an eating disorder is a coping mechanism for stressful situations and overwhelming, unpleasant emotions. Some people may feel out of control with the rest of their life, and therefore find their sense of control through restricting food. Others find that eating is the only way they can let loose and may start binge eating.
Societies’ harsh and unrealistic expectations for body shape and weight is almost always a factor in an eating disorder. Other things that are completely out of our control also can play a role, like genetics and how well our body adapts to sleep, stress, and mood changes.
It is never the fault of the person struggling with an eating disorder. Of course, no one wants to starve themselves, work out for five hours a day, or sneak upstairs after bedtime to binge on everything in the fridge. But with an eating disorder, it can feel like that is the only way to cope. Eating disorders are at the crossroads of mood disorders, addictions, compulsions, and impairing thought patterns and habits. This makes them an incredibly unique and diverse disorder group and can be difficult to treat.
But counselors at Thriveworks Willow Grove have years of experience and training treating eating disorders. We understand how it will be unique to every person fighting and can be a long process to recovery. Our eating disorder counselors will be with you every step of the way—encouraging, teaching, and supporting.
Not all eating disorders are the same. The big three are anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. The symptoms and treatment methods will be unique for each one.
Anorexia Signs and Symptoms
Anorexia can be dangerous because of how it affects the body. Therefore, the earlier you can see a professional, the quicker and easier the recovery. If you are fighting anorexia, know that you are not alone. It takes tremendous strength and courage to reach out when everything in you is saying “This is right, just a little longer. A few pounds lighter and then I’ll be happy.”
It can feel like you’re trapped in your own body and mind, and nothing seems to be able to break you out. Thriveworks Willow Grove counselors are trained to help you take the steps towards freedom.
If you think you might be struggling with anorexia, look for these signs:
- Underweight (BMI less than 18)
- Dramatic weight loss
- Restricting food
- Counting calories
- Unusual amounts of exercise
- Much of your day is spent thinking about food, weight, or body shape
- You strongly wish you were a different size/shape
- Hiding weight loss or body shape with baggy clothes
Anorexia is incredibly diverse, so the signs will look different for everyone. Whatever your situation, anorexia is dangerous and all consuming. You deserve to live a happy, fulfilling life! Willow Grove Thriveworks can help you get there, one step at a time.
Bulimia Signs and Symptoms
Bulimia can look a lot like Anorexia, but there are a few key differences. Bulimia is incredibly devastating and frustrating in part because of the vicious binge-purge cycle it comes with. People fighting bulimia may binge food and then engage in some purging action. This may include inducing vomit, excessive exercise, fasting (restricting food), diuretics, or any number of actions that try to counteract the calories eaten.
The problem with a cycle like this is it’s so easy to say, “Next time, I’ll do better.” But Bulimia is a tricky, attractive disorder that is so easy to slip back into. Thriveworks Willow Grove wants you to know that you are not weak for engaging in a binge-purge cycle. It is a mixture of your circumstances, biology, and past experiences driving you to do this, even if you know you don’t want to.
It is a cycle that can be broken though. And as usual, the quicker you can see a professional, the better your recovery process will be. Some signs of Bulimia include:
- Having a binge episode (eating excessive amounts of food when the situation does not call for it, feeling out of control or like you can’t stop while eating.)
- Trying to counteract the binge by purging (vomiting, exercise, fasting, etc.)
- Being preoccupied with shape and body image, feeling shame or a desire to change
- Weight fluctuations
- Dehydration or other vitamin imbalances
Bulimia is one of the most diverse eating disorders because of how many ways people can engage in the purging episode. For people fighting this disorder- there is hope! You don’t have to struggle alone or in silence anymore. Thriveworks Willow Grove counselors can be at your side as you fight this disorder every step of the way.
Binge Eating Disorder Signs and Symptoms
Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is quickly becoming one of the most pervasive disorders in America. As stress and addictive food groups rise, so does the ease in which people can fall into a binge eating disorder.
Again, Thriveworks Willow Grove wants to stress that this eating disorder is not your fault! It does not make you weak! Our brains are wonderful things but get so easily confused in this day in age of fast food drive throughs and processed food. It is usually a matter of brain and body chemistry, paired with negative coping mechanisms and old habits.
Binge eating disorder is highly treatable, although it’s difficult to do so alone. Willow Grove Thriveworks is here to guide you through the steps and help you regain control of your body and mind.
Some symptoms of binge eating disorder include:
- Feeling depressed or anxious
- Disgusted at yourself, your habits, or your body
- Binge eating, oftentimes alone where no one can see you eat
- Feeling out of control when eating
- Embarrassed about eating patterns
- Continuously eating even after full (to the point of pain)
- Feeling a lack of emotions when eating
- Feeling like eating is the only way you can cope with high emotions
These are just some of the signs that might point towards binge eating disorder. It is a diverse disorder that affects many people of all types. There are however many proven methods to combat it, and with a little professional support, your eating habits don’t have to control you anymore!
Schedule an Appointment at Thriveworks Willow Grove
Eating disorders are some of the most devastating, impairing disorders out there. They are confusing, isolating, and oftentimes bring with it comorbid disorders such as depression and anxiety. Willow Grove Thriveworks is here to support and guide you to a place of freedom and contentment. Reaching out takes more strength and courage than most people realize, so we thank you for considering doing so. When you are ready, we’ll be here.
Call today: 267-685-3197
Thriveworks Willow Grove offers both daytime and evening hours. There is no waiting list and we accept most major insurance plans and offer affordable rates. We are located in Montgomery County, so if you are looking for Eating Disorder Counseling in Willow Grove, Abington, Jenkintown, Hatboro or Huntingdon Valley, our office will be convenient for you! Call for an appointment today.