Almost 30 million people in the United States are affected by an eating disorder, which has an incredibly large impact on both their mental and physical health. At The Soho Center For Mental Health Counseling, Anthony Freire, MA, LMHC, NCC, CCMHC, Kelley Hershman, LMHC, Kate Engstrom, LCSW, and their team work with their patients in Greenwich Village of New York City to develop a healthier relationship with food. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have an eating disorder, call or use the online booking tool to schedule a consultation to learn more.
Eating disorders are a group of very serious mental diseases that can have a significant impact on both your mental and physical health. In fact, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, which means that the seriousness of these diseases cannot be understated.
At their core, eating disorders are defined by disturbances in your eating behaviors, as well as in your related thoughts and emotions, which manifest themselves in myriad ways, including, but not limited to:
This eating disorder typically develops in teenagers and young adults and affects girls more than boys. The hallmark of anorexia nervosa is an irrational fear of being overweight, to the point where the sufferer is dangerously thin.
Another common eating disorder, bulimia nervosa develops in younger men and women (more women) and it’s characterized by binge eating to the point of discomfort, at which time the sufferer may try and purge the food.
As the name implies, a binge eating disorder causes you to eat large quantities of food in a short time. Unlike bulimia, there’s typically no purging behavior afterward.
With Pica, you crave and eat non-food substances, such as dirt, ice, soap, and paper.
With rumination, you regurgitate food soon after eating it to re-chew and swallow it again, or spit it out.
This question is difficult to sum up as each of the disorders is very different with their own unique signs and symptoms. That said, the most common red flags of an eating disorder may include the following:
The bottom line is that eating disorders affect people in different ways, but they ultimately come down to abnormal or disturbed eating habits.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for eating disorders as people come to them from every angle. The therapists understand that every patient is unique, with their own set of thoughts, emotions, and experiences, so they tailor a treatment plan to fits the patient, not the list of symptoms.
It’s important to note that the therapists work alongside nutritional experts and doctors in order to tackle the problem from every angle.
To learn more about treating eating disorders, call The Soho Center For Mental Health Counseling & Clinical Supervision or request a consultation online.