Month: September 2018

Woman using a fork to eat a pea

It Isn’t About the Size: Being Skinny Is Not the Sole Indicator of Bulimia

Would you believe that someone could be battling bulimia even though they don’t look alarmingly skinny?

Bulimia is a serious, life-threatening illness characterized by binge eating followed by purging, fasting, or excessive exercise. It often goes undetected because the signs are not as blatant as the symptoms of anorexia, which manifests mainly in extremely low body weight. People with bulimia can still fall within the normal weight range and feel intensely unhappy with their body figure such that they desperately want to lose weight.

Bulimia Goes Beyond the Way a Patient Looks

People may stereotype patients with eating disorders as extremely skinny or stick-thin. This isn’t always the case, though.

Like other eating disorders, bulimia centers around an individual’s obsession with body image and weight gain. But bulimics may be underweight or overweight; their body size may still be average despite attempts to reach an unrealistic body figure or weight.

In fact, the condition might lead to the opposite of the slim figure that patients with bulimia desire.  The frequent consumption of high-calorie food, although routinely purged, may cause weight gain. Moreover, the condition might cause the abdomen to bloat.

Given this information, we can assume that detecting bulimia is not as easy as assessing someone’s body figure. Instead of just assuming that someone who looks alarmingly thin has an eating disorder, we have to pay attention to other symptoms:

  • Eating uncontrollably and purging after
  • Inducing vomiting after meals
  • Abusing laxatives or diuretics
  • Exercising to the point of exhaustion
  • Fasting or starving one’s self for long periods

Bulimia may also result in mouth-related symptoms, such as sore throats and dental problems.

Treatment will take a long time because the condition affects the physical as well as the psychological well-being of an individual. Treatment must also address other conditions closely linked with the eating disorder and body image distortion.

Bulimia May Not Occur Alone

Bulimia is already a serious condition, but it does not always occur alone. People with bulimia may also suffer from other conditions, such as mood disorders, anxiety, depression, or substance dependence.

Patients with bulimia may also experience other dangerous side effects, such as stomach ulcers, a ruptured stomach, muscular fatigue, and constipation. Women patients may experience irregular periods. In the worst case scenario, the condition may lead to sudden heart failure.

To address bulimia and the other conditions linked with it, people have to be more open to the idea that not everyone with an eating condition is stick-thin. This stereotype is what leads to a potentially large number of undetected cases of bulimia.

Break Free from Bulimia

The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health provides a bulimia treatment program in Westport, CT. We teach patients to identify and understand the reasons behind their eating behaviors so that we can help them develop healthy coping skills.

Our treatment plan lets you take back control of your thoughts and break free from bulimia. We know that the healing process does not happen overnight. So, we foster a safe and supportive environment that encourages you to heal mentally and physically at your own pace. Make an appointment with us, today.

Woman concern about weight

Eating Disorders Among Female Athletes are High

Female athletes thrive in a world where coming out victorious is vital. They go through rigorous training, proper discipline, and strict diet. Some, however, push themselves to their limits by excessively working out and controlling their diet. As such, the world of athletics shows alarming rates of eating disorders among female athletes.

Treatment for bulimia or anorexia in our Westport practice handles eating disorders with utmost care. We use a combination fo techniques that allows us to help patients maintain recovery. But first, we dig deep to understand the underlying factors that drive the disorder. With female athletes, the reason may be the environment.

Why Is It Common Among Female Athletes?

The sports culture encourages women athletes to stay in excellent body size or shape for flawless performance. It’s this culture that often triggers them in developing eating disorders, like bulimia nervosa (BN) or anorexia nervosa (AN).

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) reports that almost 33 percent of Division 1 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) female athletes showed symptoms that place them at risk for AN. Additionally, 2.85 percent of female athletes have “a clinically significant problem with anorexia nervosa.”

The symptoms include the following:

  • Excessive fasting
  • Preoccupation with food
  • Binging
  • Purging
  • Fear of being overweight
  • Compulsive exercising
  • Obsession with training even when injured

Sports that emphasize the need to be thin can affect an athlete’s overall state of health. These sports include figure skating, gymnastics, and running. Eating disorders affect almost 62 percent of female athletes involved in figure skating and gymnastics.

The stress involved in athletic performance adds to the usual risk factors, like family history, making sports a breeding ground for mental illnesses. If you know someone dealing with eating disorders, it’s important to lead them toward a track of recovery through treatment.

Which Therapies are Applicable for Them?

Group therapy is a helpful treatment for female athletes. This kind of therapy can help relieve them from feelings of isolation, shame, or stigma. The sense of belonging helps them get through their condition, knowing that other people go through the same thing.

Family counseling can help, as well. A family can ensure the understanding and removal of potential negative influences in a person’s daily environment. When you have an athlete in the family or your circle of friends, give her the love and support she needs.

Coaches and families play a vital role in a female athlete’s life. As the people closest to the girl, analyzing and acknowledging the symptoms at an early stage can help – before things get worse.

Our treatment programs in Westport can provide the most appropriate treatment.

A Safe, Supportive, and Comfortable Environment

The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health helps people with eating disorders, like bulimia, binge eating, and other conditions. We design comprehensive treatment plans to help patients cope with their urges, even after leaving the treatment center.

Our compassionate team of psychiatrists apply many psychotherapies, self-care methods, and recovery techniques. We practice a holistic approach to treatmeting, combining DBT with mindfulness psychotherapies. We also use relaxation techniques that help patients understand their emotions without the judgment.

Take control of your life or help a loved one do so. Contact us today to live free from eating disorders.