Eating Disorder Therapy | Harley St. | London
Eating Disorders are a serious psychological illness and one that can cause long-lasting or even permanent damage to the physical health of the suffering individual.
There are four main categories of eating disorder:
Anorexia Nervosa - describes those with an excessive focus on the importance and control of weight, body size and shape. Many people with anorexia have low body weight and bmi, usually developed through an intense fear of gaining weight or body fat, active food restriction and/or over-exercise.
Bulimia Nervosa - is typically characterised by periods of restricted eating, sometimes accompanied with excessive exercising or other over-compensatory attempts at reducing weight, such as use of laxatives, purging, etc. Following periods of restriction or disordered eating, people with bulimia have reoccuring binge eating episodes. Often this is followed with feelings of regret and shame and the continuing cycle of reducing food intake again, purging, using laxatives or over-exercise. This in turn triggers the body entering into 'semi-starvation' mode and only leads to another inevitable binge-eating episode. Bulimia is a dangerous cycle that can cause irreversible damage to the body and affects self-esteem.
Binge Eating - describes uncontrollable binges of eating. Many people who are binge eaters find they eat compulsively and have problems trying to control their food intake. This is often the case with emotional-eaters.
Orthorexia Nervosa - is a condition that although is not recognised in the DSM-V as a clinical diagnosis is becoming more and more prevalent. Orthorexia describes somebody who has an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating, perhaps strictly and obsessively following a restricted diet or dietary rituals eg. juicing or fasting.
Eating Disorders affect both males and females and can develop at any age.
There is usually underlying issues present alongside eating disorders. This commonly includes low self-esteem, traits of perfectionism, obsessive-compulsive tendencies and past negative experiences or trauma. Long periods of food restriction and disordered eating can also obviously lead to severe vitamin and nutritional deficiencies that in turn further effect mental and physical health like anxiety, depression, mood swings, fatigue, etc.
My suggested treatment approach to Eating Disorders combines nutritional therapy, in order to address any micronutrient deficiencies alongside specialist psychotherapy to address and treat the underlying cognitive and emotional issues that often precipitates disordered eating.
The focus of therapy is to help each individual to come to a deeper understanding of why you do what they do and explore your relationship with food, as well as to support your unique goals. This is within a supportive, compassionate, understanding and non-judgemental space.