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Eating disorders and body image issues

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Eating disorders and body image issues 2017-03-03T03:57:23+00:00

We can help you to improve your relationship with food and your body

What are the symptoms of an eating disorder?

There are several types of eating disorders, including (but not limited to) Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder. Broadly speaking, each of these eating disorders involve:

  • Disordered eating behaviours, including overeating and undereating
  • Compensatory behaviours (these symptoms are not present in Binge Eating Disorder)
  • Extreme body dissatisfaction or distorted perception of the body

Overeating

Symptoms of overeating include frequently eating until you feel uncomfortably full, eating at a rapid pace, feeling out of control (unable to resist starting eating or unable to stop eating), hiding your eating from others or eating alone, frequently eating when you are not hungry and feeling shame, embarrassment or guilt about what you are eating or how much you are eating.

Binge eating is a form of overeating in which the person eats an objectively large amount of food (an amount that other people would agree is large) in a short period of time (e.g. less than two hours), while experiencing a loss of control.

Undereating

Symptoms of undereating include restricting:

  • How much you eat (e.g. I can only eat one serve of dairy per day)
  • When you eat (e.g. I can only eat after 1pm or I am not allowed to eat anything after 6pm)
  • The types of food you eat (e.g. I am not allowed to eat carbohydrates or I am only allowed to eat fruit and vegetables)

Compensatory behaviours

Compensatory behaviours are used to try to control weight. They are usually used in attempt to cancel out a binge eating episode or to make up for breaking some kind of food rule.

Compensatory behaviours include:

  • Self-induced vomiting
  • Laxative or diuretic misuse
  • Fasting
  • Excessive exercise

Body image issues

Body image issues can occur in the context of an eating disorder or as a separate issue. Signs that you might be experiencing body dissatisfaction include:

  • Preoccupation with your shape, appearance and weight
  • Anxiety or fear about gaining weight
  • Constant checking of your appearance in the mirror
  • Frequently weighing yourself or avoiding weighing yourself altogether
  • Hiding your body under loose clothing
  • Frequent negative thoughts about your body including comparing yourself to others, emphasising your flaws and minimising your strengths, seeing your body in black and white ways (e.g. fat or thin, perfect or flawed) and general negative self-talk about your body and appearance
  • Frequent feelings of shame, embarrassment or anxiety about your body 

How we can help

At Inner Melbourne Clinical Psychology we use evidence based treatments, such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Mindfulness, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and compassion based approaches, to help people overcome body image issues and disordered eating. We can help you to improve your relationship with your food and feel more comfortable in your skin.

Call us today to book an appointment

Call our friendly client support team on (03) 9376 1958 to book an appointment with one of experts in eating disorders and body image.