Mental Health Problems
An eating disorder is marked by extremes. Persons with eating disorders experience an extreme reduction in food intake or extreme overeating. They feel very distressed by their body weight or shape.
The two main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
Eating disorders frequently appear during adolescence or young adulthood. Women and girls are much more likely to develop an eating disorder. Eating disorders are real, treatable medical illnesses with complex underlying psychological and biological causes. They frequently co-exist with other psychiatric disorders such as depression, substance use or anxiety disorders. People with eating disorders can also suffer from other physical health complications, such as heart conditions or kidney failure, which can lead to death.
Eating disorders can be difficult to manage or overcome by yourself. You may think about food all the time, spending hours thinking about what to eat and exercise until you’re exhausted. You may feel sad, hopeless, ashamed, irritable or anxious. If you have any of these problems, seek medical attention.
If you have a loved one you’re worried about, urge him or her to talk to a doctor. Even if your loved one isn’t ready to admit there is a problem, you may be able to open the door by expressing concern. Remember, treatment is available.
Do You Have an Eating Disorder?
Signs You Need Help
Here are some common signs someone may have an eating disorder:
- Refusing to eat and denying hunger or eating until you feel discomfort.
- Self-induced vomiting
- Feeling your eating behavior is out of control
- Going to the bathroom after eating or during meals
- Intense fear of gaining weight
- Constant dieting or fasting
- Negative or distorted self-image
- Excessive exercising
- Very thin appearance
These symptoms can lead to physical issues including:
- Dizziness or fainting
- Menstrual irregularities
- Abdominal pain
- Dry skin
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Low blood pressure
If you think you may have an eating disorder, you should seek professional help. It is very difficult to overcome eating disorders by yourself.
For more information on C4 services or to schedule an appointment, call 773.769.0205.
Eating disorders often occur with other mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. As part of a comprehensive mental health assessment, a C4 therapist will ask questions to determine if an eating disorder is a part of your mental health problem. If so, you will most likely be referred to a specialist who will work collaboratively with C4 on your treatment.
This treatment specialist will ask you questions about your eating habits, beliefs and behavior. You’ll explore how you perceive your body image and how you think others perceive you. You’ll learn how to exchange unhealthy habits for healthy ones. You’ll also learn how to monitor your eating habits and moods, develop problem-solving skills, and find healthy ways to cope with stressful situations. You may also work with a nutritional counselor.
For more information on C4 services, or to set up an appointment, call 773.769.0205.