Anorexia nervosa (generally known as anorexia) is an eating disorder in which the sufferer restricts their food intake, sometimes has obsessive, ritualistic, or otherwise unhealthy behaviors around food, and is obsessed with remaining thin. Anorexia sufferers often believe themselves to be overweight when quite the opposite is the case.
While both men and women can suffer from anorexia nervosa, it is much more common among women and particularly young women and teenagers. Untreated, anorexia is a serious condition, and can even lead to death.
As well as dramatic weight loss to well below a normal body weight, people with anorexia display a range of symptoms. In women, periods may cease. In both sexes, rituals around eating food and an obsession with calorie content are common, and sufferers can also show symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), when they don’t see themselves as they really are, but as grotesquely overweight. Anorexia can be accompanied by occasional binge-eating, accompanied by self-induced vomiting or the inappropriate use of laxatives or diet pills. Sufferers may often complain of feeling cold and have problems with low energy levels.
Anorexia is a complex condition, and multiple factors are involved. There can be biological and genetic elements as well as psychological and cultural. Anorexia can sometimes develop in response to a period of depression, or to low self-esteem. In many cultures thinness – especially in women – is prized, and the resulting social pressure to look a certain way can be a contributing factor to developing anorexia.
Treatment for anorexia nervosa
If you have been diagnosed as having anorexia by a doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist, you may be feeling overwhelmed. However, regardless of the reasons why you have developed the problem, we can help you with proven techniques that will assist in managing your symptoms and working steadily towards a healthier relationship with food and your self-image.
We can work with you to help restore positive behaviours that will enable you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, and also to untangle the contributing factors to your condition. You may also need to consult a nutritionist or other specialist in diet and nutrition.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help by teaching you new ways to manage negative behaviours and reactions and by developing a plan to integrate healthier eating habits into your lifestyle. In addition to CBT there are many other effective therapies that can help with anorexia, to find out about the different treatment options and to read more about our eating disorder service. We also have a Psychiatrist at the clinic who will help you or your loved one manage the medical aspects of their eating disorder.
With effective treatment, you can get well again relatively quickly, and integrate your new, healthier habits with a positive self-image.
Counselling for anorexia nervosa in London
If you would like to talk to someone about counselling or treatment for anorexia nervosa, please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: 020 81507563 or book online by clicking below:
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