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Child in divorce therapy

How to Help Your Kids Through a Divorce

While trends since the early 2000s suggest that divorce rates in the U.S. are falling, there are still roughly 750,000 divorces a year in the country. With just under 2 children on average per family, about 1.5 million children per year experience their parents going through a divorce or separation.

Divorce has many negative effects on children, as this marks a difficult time in their lives that they may not be equipped to process. Cognitive Behavioral Health offers the following advice to parents to help their children adapt:

The Effects of Divorce on Children

Because divorce signifies a massive change for the child, and because parents going through a divorce are also undergoing emotional turmoil, negative behaviors can manifest in children:

  • feelings of guilt
  • anxiety or depression
  • poor academic performance
  • resentment towards one or both parents
  • social withdrawal
  • no longer participating in activities they used to enjoy

Children of divorce are also more likely to engage in risky behaviors like alcohol and substance abuse.

children in divorce situation

What Can A Parent Do?

Co-parent

If possible, arrange to co-parent. Make sure that your interactions with your spouse are not hostile, as kids can recognize signs of hostility and this can increase their distress. Co-parenting also shows the children that their parents are still willing to communicate and work together to establish a new family structure.

Try to maintain continuity and stability where possible

It’s important to remember that children thrive on routines. One of the reasons divorce affects many kids so keenly is the massive disruption to their every day lives. Putting in effort to restore stability can help them to cope.

If you have a regular activity with the kids for example (play dates, game nights, etc.) try to make sure these still happen. This assures them that not everything is going to change, and there are still some things they can rely on.

Don’t put the children in the middle of your conflict

Behavior that shows hostility to the spouse, whether overtly or not, can still cause anxiety for your children. This includes:

  • telling them negative things about your spouse
  • asking them to choose or compare parents
  • having them relay messages between parents

Putting the kids in the middle can make them feel like participants of the divorce, which can have a negative impact on their mental and emotional well-being.

Communicate

Many parents try to hide details of the divorce, believing this will shield the children from the impact. Doing this, however, can have the opposite effect: if kids are not told the truth about what’s going on, they will look for answers themselves. Failing that, they can start creating their own answers, and then factors like guilt and unfounded resentment come into play.

Telling them about what is happening (living arrangements, schedules, etc) and also talking to them about their feelings and yours can help bring the family members closer together and let you depend on each other for emotional support.

Be mindful, however, of the information you’re about to share, and make sure it’s information that your kids are able to handle. The nature of the marital conflict (especially affairs, abuse, etc.) may not be age-appropriate.

If the information will not aid them in understanding or coping with the separation, then you don’t have to share it with them.

Get Professional Help

Having the family talk to a professional can help family members sort through their emotions and learn to cope and communicate better. Family therapy will give you and your children the tools you need to express yourselves, manage conflict, and provides a safe space to connect with each other and work out conflicts.

In an emotionally-charged home environment both during and after a divorce, these skills will be valuable to ensure the mental and emotional development of everyone in the family.

The Center of Cognitive Behavioral Health offers family counseling in Westport, CT to provide families that have experienced a divorce a way to gain a deeper understanding of each other. Find out more about how we can help on our family psychotherapy page.

Anxiety of Being Back in the Office

Back to Work Blues: How You can Cope with Anxiety of Being Back in the Office

For over a year, people have been asked to self-isolate at home.  Many worked work remotely as a social distancing measure. In 2020, almost 70% of full-time workers went remote. But multiple studies have shown that longer durations of isolation were linked to poor mental health.

With limited movement and interactions, the quarantine period has caused stress and anxiety to many people. But returning to work after quarantine has brought up new mental health concerns.

The Center for Cognitive and Behavior Therapy, which offers dialectical behavior therapy in Westport, shares helpful ways to deal with the stress and anxiety that comes with going back to work.

Workers’ Mental Health  After Quarantine

It’s typical for people to experience stress and feelings of uncertainty following a sudden, major life change, whether it’s a personal tragedy or a global pandemic.

With the threat of COVID-19 still around, workers are likely to experience the following on the verge of returning to work:

  • Feelings of dread and anxiety
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Difficulty functioning in social situations

One survey found that the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among working Americans is now 83% higher than before the pandemic. Those aged 40-59 have also shown 94% higher risk of general anxiety disorder (GAD). This could mean that a sudden return to the workplace won’t be easy for workers and can significantly impact their mental well-being.

stressed from work

How To Deal With Stress and Anxiety In Returning To Work

Feeling stressed and anxious over returning to work is a normal response after staying at home for a long time. But there are several things you can do to cope better.

Acknowledge Your Anxiety

Hiding your anxious feelings won’t make you feel better. It can only keep you feeling trapped, causing the anxiety to perpetuate. But recognizing anxiety and acknowledging it can help you take steps toward feeling better, even if it’s as simple as taking a deep breath or getting some exercise.

Establish A New Type of Routine

The routines you had during while working from home means you have to unlearn a few things. It might help to slowly transition yourself by establishing new routines for work, such as:

  • waking up earlier than usual
  • finding something to enjoy on your commute
  • taking regular breaks
  • making a point to catch up with colleagues

Communicate Your Concerns

Talking to a family or friend may help you deal with anxiety. You can also talk to your supervisor or HR department, many of which now recognize that many employees may have difficulty transitioning back to the office.

Seek Mental Health Support

You don’t have to go through it all alone. If you’re having difficulty coping with stressful events and managing your emotions, it’s best to seek mental health support or teletherapy. While everybody feels stressed and anxious at times, it’s important to recognize when these feelings have become more than a temporary thing.

Don’t hesitate to get help from a mental health professional, especially if feelings of sadness, hopelessness, exhaustion and frustration are:

  • Present most of the time
  • Persisting for about two weeks or more
  • Affecting your daily life negatively

Remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Contact The Center for Cognitive Behavioral Health today. We have experienced and qualified therapists to help you navigate any emotional and behavioral challenges.

therapist

When Do You See A Therapist About Your Anxiety?

According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are affecting 40 million adults in the US each year but only 36.9% get treatment

For most people, deciding to seek therapy can be difficult. Because anxiety is a common emotion, many don’t see the need to seek professional help, thinking that they just need to adapt to their situations better. Some don’t know when to see a therapist, while others are afraid of the stigma attached to seeing a therapist. 

Normal Anxiety vs. Problematic Anxiety

In order to get help, it’s crucial to distinguish between normal anxiety and anxiety disorder. Normal anxiety usually occurs in response to stressful situations, like an upcoming exam, or a new job. It is intermittent and can help you stay focused or accomplish your goals. 

But unmanageable and long-standing feelings of anxiety can be a sign of serious mental health issues like anxiety disorders. Such cases often need online counseling or therapy interventions to be treated. 

Here are some considerations to know when it’s time to see a therapist about your anxiety. 

When It Feels Impossible To Regulate the Emotion

Feeling sad, anxious, or angry from time to time is natural. However, it’s crucial to pay attention to how often and long you feel these emotions. You might need further help if you’re feeling chronic or recurring excessive anxiety with the following emotional symptoms: 

  • Feelings of apprehension 
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anticipating the worst
  • Irritability 

You’re Experiencing Physical Issues

Anxiety is a product of the body’s fight or flight response. That’s why you may experience some physical symptoms when you are in an anxious state. But if your anxiety is associated with the following symptoms for the past 6 months without any medical cause, it might be a signal that you need help. 

  • Being easily fatigued
  • Muscle tension
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach upset

You’ve Recently Experienced a Traumatic Event

Traumatic life events are the biggest contributors to anxiety and depression. If you have anxiety because of an accident, or after experiencing violence or any of the other common sources of trauma, you should see a licensed counselor or therapist. Even just coming in for a few sessions of counseling can help determine the extent of the help you need to process the event.

Your Coping Method is Causing You Harm

Talking to a friend, exercising, or participating in hobbies and activities are some healthy ways to calm your anxiety. But you might need professional help if you’re turning to unhealthy coping styles, such as the following: 

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Taking recreational drugs
  • Bouts of physical violence (hitting objects or people)
  • Avoiding family and friends

Anxiety Interferes With Your Daily Life

If your anxiety causes significant distress or hinders your ability to function normally in your school, job or daily life, it can be an indicator that you need to seek therapy or online counseling. Note that avoidance is a symptom of problematic anxiety and might cause you to skip school, stop going to work, or avoid any normal activity that might trigger anxiety. 

How Can A Therapist Help You? 

Seeing a therapist can be anxiety-inducing on its own. But they can help you figure out how serious your anxiety is, what’s causing it, and learn different strategies to cope with its symptoms. 

If you want to talk through what you’re dealing with, contact us to request a consultation or to inquire about how we can help.

bulimia

Bulimia Eating Disorder Intervention: When and How to Do It

Eating disorders affect 9 percent of the population or 28.8 million Americans. Bulimia, in particular, affects 1.2 percent of adults in the country. Nearly 3 percent of people with bulimia have the disorder for life.

If anyone you care for has symptoms of bulimia, you may be able to change their lives for the better by intervening at the right time and convincing them to seek treatment for their eating disorder. People with eating disorders are sensitive about their condition and many will lash out or deny their condition when asked. Eating disorder intervention, therefore, takes finesse and genuine care and concern for the person you suspect of having the disorder.

So how should you help someone with bulimia? When and how should you do it? We offer some tips in this article.

Recognizing People with Bulimia

The best time for bulimic intervention is as early as possible. If you suspect that a loved one has bulimia, you need to verify if your suspicions are correct.

There are two types of bulimia that are medically recognized: binge-eating and bulimia nervosa.

Binge-eating is exactly how it sounds: people who develop this disorder have recurring binge eating “episodes” during which they cannot control the urge to eat. They become very distressed about these episodes, but they don’t go through a “purging” phase. This is explains the prevalence of obesity among people with binge-eating disorder.

Purging or throwing up the food you eat is distinctive to bulimia nervosa. People with this disorder also go through a period of excessive exercising or fasting after each binge-eating episode. This is because they feel  immense guilt while and after binge-eating, and they want to make up for their excessive consumption by drastically cutting their diet.

If your loved one’s behavior matches these tendencies, they might indeed need treatment for bulimia.

Other Signs of Bulimia

bulimia

Besides binge-eating and subsequent fasting and exercising, here are other signs to watch out for:

  • Discolored teeth
  • Frequent bouts of sore throat, stomach pains, and diarrhea
  • Significant weight loss and/or fluctuating weight
  • Making excuses to skip meals
  • Obsessively counting calories and taking diet pills
  • Eating only small portions
  • Eating excessively when stressed, bored, or anxious
  • Hiding stashes of high-calorie food
  • Taking showers after eating (running water hides retching sounds)
  • Obsessively using mints and mouthwash (to hide the smell that comes with vomiting)
  • Wears loose clothes to conceal their body shape and weight
  • Large quantities of food mysteriously disappear from the fridge or pantry

A person with these physical symptoms and behaviors very likely have the eating disorder.

Approaching a Person Suffering from Bulimia

The next part is the most difficult: talking to the person whom you suspect of having bulimia.

There’s no one sure way to initiate an intervention, although we discourage highly-charged, emotional confrontations. Instead of feeling supported and cared for, the person might feel attacked instead and refuse any help with their bulimia.

A few more things to think about:

  • Make it a private conversation if possible. Although it’s good to involve the family, “airing out dirty laundry” before a crowd, no matter how well-meaning, will be unwise. The person you want to help might feel embarrassed, terrified, and worse, harassed.
  • Avoid having an aggressive, accusatory tone and “you” statements like “You’re not eating!” or “You look unhealthy!” The person might become defensive and resist your support.
  • Be specific and talk about the behaviors and symptoms you observed.
  • Make it clear that you’re not ashamed of the person, but that you’re willing to help them get better. Likewise, help them understand that they should not feel ashamed, and that there are others like them who overcame bulimia and got well.
  • Ask about their feelings and focus on that instead of how they are with food (bulimia is often a response to another issue, like sadness or anxiety).
  • Never make promises you cannot fulfill, especially if the person asks you to keep their disorder a secret (you may have to inform their guardians and family if their disorder gets worse and their life is in danger).
  • Don’t say, “Just stop,” and avoid commenting about their weight.
  • Show that you care, but make the person realize that they must be responsible for their actions.
  • Not all interventions succeed at once. Family members and friends may have to keep reassuring and encouraging their loved ones to seek treatment. It can take days, weeks, even months before a loved one will agree to seeing a psychiatrist. In some cases, however, you cannot afford to wait for the person to be “ready” for treatment, i.e., they are in poor health, in dire need of immediate treatment, and have a secondary condition like self-harm, drug abuse, depression, and suicidal tendencies.
  • Encourage them to seek professional help.

The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health can advise you further on how to stage an intervention on a friend or family who may be suffering from bulimia. If and when they’re ready to seek help, they are welcome to seek treatment from our psychiatrists.

Request an appointment today.

Family Counseling

Resolving Family Conflict Through Family Counseling

In 2019, 9.5 percent of adults received counseling or therapy from a mental health professional, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About 11.1 percent of children ages 3-17 received treatment or counseling in the same year, reports The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

Americans respond positively to counseling is good news. Counseling helps patients identify goals and solutions to their emotional turmoil. Our family counseling services in Westport do the same, teaching families how to deal with conflicts that affect their relationships as well as emotional and mental well-being.

What Is the Goal of Family Counseling?

The goals of counseling are very specific to each patient, or in this case, to each family unit. But the aim of counseling, in general, is to help a family achieve harmony and restore or establish a trusting relationship with one another. At the very least, counseling can help them find closure on long-standing issues that are preventing them from moving past hurts and disagreements.

Even the most loving of families can have major disagreements that cause long-term conflicts between members. Sometimes the problem is due to an unpleasant event, like a serious illness or addiction. Stressors like these can take a toll on all family members, affecting their mental and emotional health and causing rifts in the family dynamics.

By undergoing therapy together, clients can learn how to resolve family conflicts, such as grieving a loss or letting go of unrealistic expectations of one another.

Family Counseling

Types of Family Conflict

Below are the types of family conflict that our counselors often help clients with:

  • Financial problems – Money is one of the most common causes of fights between family members, whether they have too little or too much of it.
  • Tensions arising from the family business – Siblings and family members who work together to keep a business afloat are prone to disagreements. It can be challenging to prevent the animosity from spilling over to family matters.
  • Friction between in-laws – Friction emerges when two families come together because they have different collective habits, interests, traditions, and beliefs.
  • Conflicts between siblings who own or pass over responsibility for aging parents – Siblings fight over who should take responsibility for their parents when there are opposing opinions and disparities in resources (i.e., one can afford a private nurse while another cannot).
  • Conflicts between step-parents and step-children – Children can have varying reactions to their parents who remarry. Some are indifferent while others develop hostile feelings towards their step-parent or step-siblings. These negative emotions are converted into hurtful words and actions and cause even bigger fights in the family.
  • Disagreements over the child-rearing methods between divorced parents – Separated parents who don’t see eye to eye about their children’s upbringing will inevitably get into arguments. Their open hostility and disagreements take a toll on children, especially young ones and teenagers.

Resolve Family Conflicts through Counseling

Family counseling is not an overnight solution, but it is a good start and a healthy way to resolve conflicts in the family. There are several ways to approach family counseling, and they include strategic family therapy and CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy.

As a behavioral center, the Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health uses CBT to teach families skills and habits that help them communicate better with one another. Apart from resolving existing issues, we also empower them to prevent future conflicts that may lead to divorce.

Get counseling from highly trained marital and family counselors and therapists in Westport. Request an appointment today.

family therapy

Family Divorce Counseling: Healing Conflicts through Therapy

There’s usually a lot of focus on helping children and parents cope with divorce as it happens. But we believe that they should receive just as much (if not more) counseling after their divorce is finalized.

Here’s one good reason why family counseling and post-divorce therapy is necessary: a social psychologist from the Colorado State University recently found that 13.79 percent of fathers and 19.61 percent of mothers used direct and indirect methods of parental alienation. This refers to the collective efforts of a divorced parent to emotionally distance their child from the other parent.

Why do some parents feel the need to “brainwash” and distort their children’s perception of their ex? How do such actions affect children, and how can they recover from the emotional trauma that can result from having parents who explicitly sabotage one another? These are matters that we address and hope to resolve through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for families that have gone through a divorce.

The Goals of Family Therapy

What is the goal of family counseling? In the context of divorce, the goals of cognitive behavioral family therapy can be:

  • To create a positive and cooperative parenting environment where children are not pulled into any unresolved conflict between the former spouses.
  • To give ex-spouses a venue where they can address sensitive issues and resolve conflict without the children present.
  • To foster a cooperative and at least civil relationship between the ex-spouses so that their children can feel supported and loved from both sides.

A court ruling finalizing a divorce doesn’t put an end to unresolved conflicts between parents and their children, but family counseling after a divorce can help them move in that direction.

Helping Children Deal with Divorced Parents

mom and daughter

Divorce is sometimes necessary, but some children might have a hard time understanding that. Where parents cannot satisfy their questions or appease their hurt feelings, child-focused counseling and CBT may fill in.

There is another area in which these therapies can be helpful: treating anxiety among children of divorce. Studies show that kids experience anxiety, anger, disbelief, and distress in the first one to two years after their parents’ divorce.

Child psychiatrists note that, in their desire to reduce their children’s anxiety, parents coddle them and take over tasks that could have taught them valuable lessons on how to be independent, among other things.

Through family counseling and CBT, children can learn how to deal with divorced parents and the negative feelings they experience during and after the divorce process. Likewise, parents can also become more aware of their actions and the effect they have on their children.

How to Be a Family After Divorce

Ultimately, the purpose of undergoing post-divorce counseling and CBT is for families to heal. Counselors help them rebuild lines of communication, which are essential for regaining each other’s trust and respect.

Through post-divorce therapy, parents will have the tools to rebuild themselves outside of marital context. Everyone can learn healthy ways to deal with negative emotions and correct their problematic responses to them. In the process, they will learn how to become a family after the divorce.

Get the guidance and therapy your family needs at The Center of Cognitive Behavioral Health. Our highly trained family counselors and CBT therapists in Westport will assess your situation, listen to your needs and goals, and deliver a program that will help each member of your family deal with their unresolved hurts and worries.

Start your family’s healing at The Center of Cognitive Behavioral Health. Request an appointment today.

man having a meal

What Is the Recommended Treatment for Bulimia Nervosa?

Nine percent of the global population suffer from eating disorders. The Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) and Deloitte Access Economics estimates that in the United States alone, 28.8 million will experience an eating disorder in their lifetime.

The American Addition Centers adds that 1.5 percent of females and 0.5 percent of males in the country have suffered from bulimia.

In Westport, we’ve administered eating disorder treatments to many patients over the years. We understand the prevalence of these disorders, especially bulimia nervosa.

Knowing the struggles of the people who suffer from this disorder, as well as the family or friends of people who do, we’re presenting this overview of the commonly used therapy methods to treat bulimia nervosa.

Recommended Treatments for Bulimia Recovery

Therapists and clinicians who are attending to patients with binge-eating disorders can use different approaches in treating bulimia nervosa.

woman eating out

  1. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with nutritional counseling

Harvard Medical School recommends a treatment program that uses nutritional counseling and psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy.

People with bulimia are trapped in a vicious cycle of binge-eating and purging. In their desire to get rid of perceived excess calories, they use laxatives or physically induce vomiting. There is also a subtype of bulimia where patients do not force themselves to vomit, but will exercise to the point of over-exhaustion or stop eating for one or more days.

What follows is ravenous hunger, which patients subdue by binge-eating in a matter of hours. Then the cycle repeats.

All of these take a toll on the physical and mental health of the patient, hence the need for both nutritional counseling and psychotherapy. This approach can heal the body as the patient is taught to acknowledge and change their distorted thoughts about body image. Healthy habits will help break the cycle of bingeing and compensation, while CBT addresses the cause of the patient’s compulsive behavior.

  1. Medication

Studies show that prescribing medication, together with other methods like CBT and interpersonal or family-based therapy, works best for treating bulimia nervosa.

The only drug approved by FDA for treatment of bulimia nervosa is Prozac. However, clinicians may also prescribe anti-depressant medicine like Zoloft (sertraline) and Paxil (paroxetine hydrochloride).

Bulimia nervosa patients may have several prescriptions to address different symptoms. This happens when they experience comorbidities like anxiety, stress, depression, and substance abuse.

  1. In-patient treatment

This approach is ideal for patients whose disorder is so severe that they need constant supervision; for patients who:

  • live with people who enable their compulsions instead of helping them recover
  • need distance from people, things, and events that affect their self-esteem
  • thrive in a recovery facility’s environment
  1. Out-patient treatment

Not all patients respond positively to being admitted to binge-eating disorder treatment centers. Those who regress in these facilities will respond better to an out-patient program. This method encourages family involvement and support, which is very helpful to patients. They are also less likely to feel caged or restricted, and that sense of freedom and control can contribute to their recovery.

We can give you more information about these treatment options at The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health. If you or someone you know would like to know needs help to recover from bulimia, our doors and phone lines are open for you.

Start the road to recovery here.

child eating an apple

ARFID: What Parents Should Know About this Eating Disorder

Many parents struggle to get their toddlers to eat the right kinds of food and ensure that they get the complete nourishment they need to grow strong and healthy. Pediatricians consider picky eating as a normal part of a child’s development, but they also acknowledge that it can lead to complications like vitamin deficiencies.

Children typically outgrow picky eating as they grow older, but if they don’t, they might be experiencing something Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID).

As a private group practice offering treatment programs for eating disorder patients in Westport, we can show you the difference between picky eating and ARFID (previously called Selective Eating Disorder or SED). Here’s what you, as parents, need to know about this disorder and how it can affect your child.

Picky Eating vs. ARFID: What’s the Difference?

The first thing you need to know is how to determine if your child is simply a picky eater or already afflicted with SED. This is necessary because if your child has the latter, you may need professional help and seek selective eating disorder treatment for your child.

Here are some points where picky eaters and children with SED differ:

  • Fussy eaters eventually grow out of this behavior while SED patients do not.
  • A key difference between the two is that picky eaters are still relatively healthy and can hit and maintain the ideal body weight of their age group despite eating only a few kinds of food. Children with ARFID, on the other hand, experience significant weight loss and are likely below their ideal weight range. They definitely need nutritional supplements and, in worst-case scenarios, they need feeding tubes to meet their daily caloric needs.
  • A child’s attitude towards food can also be a symptom. Picky eaters are selective with their food because they don’t like what certain kinds of food look, smell, or taste like. In contrast, kids diagnosed with ARFID have a very strong aversion to food (hence ARFID is also described by some as “food neophobia”) coupled with an almost exclusive preference for a very narrow selection of food. Some children cannot even stand to have food that they don’t like within their sight or in the same room as them. Additionally, picky children are interested in food. They often feel hungry and enjoy eating their preferences. Kids with ARFID, however, have very little interest in food and eating in general.
  • Children who develop ARFID may have a great fear of vomiting or choking, either because they experienced it previously or saw someone else do it. They become very anxious about vomiting that their immediate physical response is to restrict their eating. Typical picky eaters have no such fears about food or vomiting.

family having breakfast

Diagnosis and Treatment

The symptoms above for picky eating and ARFID may seem like polar opposites and easy to distinguish, but there are many cases when they also overlap. It’s challenging distinguishing between the two without professional help, which is why it’s important to get an official diagnosis from a qualified psychologist.

Treatment for ARFID is usually a combination of medications, nutrition therapy, family-aided therapy, behavioral intervention, and psychotherapy. Home treatment for this selective disorder is possible with guidance from a professional team.

The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health can give the guidance and treatment that families and children with ARFID need. We are a private group practice of psychotherapists and clinicians dedicated to providing individualized mental health services in Westport and other nearby cities in Connecticut.

Contact us today to request an appointment.

woman with eating disorder

Eating Disorders: Major Types and Symptoms

In the United States alone, approximately 10 million men and 20 million women will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening conditions that are characterized by unhealthy eating habits such as food binges or purges. They often begin with an obsession with food, body shape, or weight. Eating disorders can affect one’s mental and physical health and even lead to death in severe cases.

Eating disorders are treated with a combination of medical care and psychological intervention such as dialectical behavior therapy. Treatments and symptoms may vary, depending on the type of eating disorder.

Below are common types of eating disorders:

Anorexia

People with Anorexia nervosa consider themselves overweight, even if they’re dangerously underweight. They resort to persistent behaviors such as binge eating and excessive physical activity in order to lose weight.

Those with anorexia constantly track their calorie intake and follow restricted eating patterns. They are unwilling to maintain a healthy weight and often disguise their appearance and eating habits.

Over time people with anorexia may experience:

  • Abnormal blood counts
  • Bluish discoloration of the fingers
  • Dehydration
  • Dry or yellowish skin
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Thinning or falling hair
  • Insomnia
  • Intolerance of cold
  • Irregularity or absence of menstruation

Bulimia

eating disorder

Bulimia nervosa is characterized by eating large amounts of food and then getting rid of the calories via self-induced vomiting, excessive physical activity, or misuse of laxatives or diet pills.

After a binge episode, individuals may experience gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, bloating, and abdominal pain.

Repeated bingeing episodes may result in:

  • Acid reflux
  • Chronic stomach discomfort
  • Cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastric dilation and gastric perforation
  • Heartburn
  • High blood pressure
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Low energy, sleepiness, and sluggishness

Pica

Pica is a condition that involves consuming nonfood items such as soil, soap, chalk, sand, paper, cloth, hair, pebbles, or cornstarch.

Pica typically occurs in children, pregnant women, and individuals with mental disabilities such as schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Depending on the items consumed, pica may even result in loss of life.

Complications associated with pica include:

  • Blockages in the digestive tract
  • Constipation
  • Gut injuries
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Lead poisoning
  • Nutritional deficiencies

Rumination syndrome

Rumination disorder is a behavioral condition in which a person repeatedly and unintentionally regurgitates partially or undigested food digested food from the stomach. Then rechews it and either spits or swallows it again.

Since the food has yet to be digested, it is non-acidic and tastes normal. Rumination usually happens after every meal. The condition is typically observed in individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses.

Rumination syndrome can cause:

  • Bad breath
  • Dental erosion
  • Malnutrition
  • Social isolation

Begin your healing at CCBH

If you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to seek professional help. There are many treatment options for you.

The Center for Cognitive and Behavior Therapy provides a safe and supportive space for individuals dealing with eating disorders. By engaging in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), people can learn how to effectively regulate behaviors and emotions to improve quality of life.

Call us at 1-888-745-3372 to schedule an appointment.

woman looking out the window wearing face mask

Ways to Fight Loneliness During COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and social distancing rules continue, many people may observe changes in their mood, motivation, health habits, and relationships with others. If you or a loved one is experiencing detrimental feelings of loneliness, the following tips may help:

Get professional help

COVID-19 and its effects can trigger feelings of anxiety and depression. Fear and worry about your health and financial situation can worsen your state of mental health and cause impairments in work and social functioning.

A combination of cognitive behavioral therapy  (CBT) and antidepressant medication can help  you manage feelings of stress and fear. CBT is a form of evidence-based treatment used to ease depression anxiety disorders, substance abuse, eating disorders, and severe mental illness. It focuses on challenging and altering unhelpful cognitive distortions and behaviors.

CBT is facilitated by a licensed mental health professional. Sessions are structured and time-limited. They help individuals analyze recent mood states, learn and practice coping skills for specific issues, and improve emotional regulation.

Stay active

Physical and mental health are directly intertwined, which means spending weeks without getting any exercise can negatively affect one’s ability to cope mentally.

Regular physical activity not only protects you from diseases, but also triggers the release of serotonin and dopamine. These brain chemicals help boost your mood and overall sense of well-being. They also help combat symptoms of depression such as loss of appetite and unhealthy sleep cycles.

You may be  finding it harder to exercise under strict lockdown rules, but there are still various ways to stay active. You can practice  Tai Chi, yoga, and cardio workouts by following YouTube videos. If you have space available, create a home gym where you can work out freely and store your equipment. Make the most of what’s around you such as water bottles, resistance bands, or your bodyweight to perform resistance exercises. Perform push-ups against the wall, floor, coffee table, and kitchen counter. You can also try some chair-based exercises to raise your heart rate a little.

woman laying down while taking video call

Stay connected

One of the best things you can do to fight loneliness is to connect with others in non-traditional ways. While you may be unable to visit family and friends in person, try to stay in touch via Skype, Facetime, or Facebook Messenger. For many, staying connected with loved ones, virtually or otherwise, is the most effective way to combat feelings of loneliness.

Do more things you enjoy

Spending time on enjoyable activities will help occupy your mind and prevent you from dwelling on feelings of loneliness.

Listen to the radio show or podcast you’ve always wanted to listen to but never had the time. Try picking up a book again or listen to audiobooks, and join an online book club where you can meet new friends and be exposed to various perspectives. If you want something more relaxing, try meditation or mindfulness practices.

If you find yourself extremely lonely, afraid, and isolated during the pandemic, it is important to reach out for help. For more information about our CBT services, contact our team today.