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Eating Disorders

This information is brought to you by Q-Psych psychologists, Jade Jensen and Kerryn Rowe. 

Are you experiencing problems with your eating? Constantly distressed about your body shape and weight? If you answered yes, then you might be suffering from an eating disorder.

Eating disorders are characterised by a persistent disturbance in patterns of eating that have a severe and negative impact on both physical and psychological health. Of all mental health disorders, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate. But there are treatments that can help. 

Symptoms of eating disorders

According to the National Eating Disorders Collaboration over 16% of Australians are affected by an eating disorder. There are several types of eating disorders, including Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, and Atypical Eating Disorders (atypical eating disorders typically include a combination of symptoms consistent with anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder). It is very important to know that weight is not necessarily an indication of an eating disorder. Individuals with an eating disorder may be underweight, healthy weight or overweight.

Anorexia Nervosa

  • chronic dieting or restricting, leading to being very underweight
  • intense fear of gaining weight
  • disturbed body image (over-evaluation of body shape and weight)
  • lack of recognition of the seriousness of their low body weight
  • restricting or bingeing and purging (self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives/diuretics/enema)

Bulimia Nervosa

  • frequent episodes of binge eating (consume large amounts of food, loss of control of eating)
  • compensatory behaviours to prevent weight gain (self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives/diuretics/enema, fasting/restricting, and over-exercising)
  • over-evaluation of body shape and weight

Binge Eating Disorder

  • recurrent episodes of binge eating (consume large amounts of food, loss of control over eating)
  • feeling extremely distressed about binge eating
  • binges are characterised by:
    • eating more quickly than normal
    • eating until feel uncomfortably full
    • eating large amounts when not feeling hungry
    • eating alone due to feeling embarrassed about the amount of food eaten
    • feeling disgusted, depressed or guilty afterward

Other symptoms of eating disorders include:

  • chronic dieting, fasting or yoyo dieting
  • calorie counting
  • obsession with nutrition content, recipes and cooking
  • ritualistic eating patterns such as cutting food into tiny pieces, eating alone, and hiding food
  • avoidance of social eating
  • mirror and body checking (checking for long periods of time or very frequently)
  • mirror and body avoidance
  • frequent weighing or avoidance of weighing
  • hair loss
  • constantly feeling cold
  • lack of menstruation
  • social withdrawal
  • depression and anxiety

Treatment for eating disorders

Here at Q-Psych, we offer a range of evidence-based treatments for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and other forms of eating problems.  The treatments we offer include:

  • Enhanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT-E)
  • Specialist Supported Clinical Management, and
  • Family-Based Treatment (FBT)

Our eating disorder treatments aim to help you:

  • Gain control over your eating
  • Develop a health relationship with food
  • Overcome dysfunctional thoughts and beliefs about body image
  • Develop strategies to help you cope with difficult emotions and events
  • Improve your self-esteem and body image

Eating disorders are complex and require regular medical monitoring and nutrition support in addition to psychotherapy. At Q-Psych, our psychologists will work together with your GP and dietitian to provide you high quality care.

Get help today

You deserve to feel better. An appointment with one of our psychologists who specialise in eating disorders will help you understand your eating problems and how you can begin to overcome them. Call now, or fill out the contact form and click Send. We accept referrals from doctors as well as self-referrals.

© Q-Psych 2018

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