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How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Works: Types and Processes Involved

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of treatment where therapists encourage their clients to identify and address the feelings and thoughts that influence their decisions to engage in certain types of maladaptive behavior. Ideally, this allows individuals to move away from destructive thought patterns that have a negative influence on their health, behavior, and emotions.

Therapists work with those suffering from all types of disorders. This includes anxiety, depression, specific phobias, and addictions. The treatment strategy is highly focused on an individual person and can be modified to fit with particular goals.

Additionally, this type of therapy involves the therapist taking on an instructional role. Their client is meant to listen to suggested strategies and use those to look into their own thoughts and feelings. They need to be able to discover how their internal states may be impacting their behavior.

What are some types of CBT?

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is focused on changing the irrational beliefs that an individual may hold. It involves making specific identifications of the underlying beliefs and challenging them constantly. In time, therapy allows the individual to recognize and alter these thought patterns on their own.

Cognitive therapy focuses on altering inaccurate and distorted patterns of thinking, emotional responses, and behaviors. There’s also multimodal therapy. This addresses seven modalities: imagery, affect, sensation, behavior, interpersonal factors, cognition, and biological considerations. This type of therapy argues that psychological concerns can be addressed by looking into these interconnected factors.

Dialectical behavioral therapy centers on the use of strategies like emotional regulation and mindfulness to confront various thought patterns and behaviors.

What are the stages of CBT?

early stages of cognitive behavioral therapy

Stage 1

The initial stage of CBT involves a therapist working with their client to identify problematic beliefs they may have. The therapist determines specific destructive patterns of thought and why they are destructive to the client.

This is a form of functional analysis. Clients are to understand how their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs in certain situations can then contribute to the emergence and persistence of maladaptive forms of behavior.

Clinicians work to help clients through this often-difficult process. Clients begin on the path to self-discovery. Ideally, they are then able to move on to the succeeding stages of the treatment process.

Stage 2

CBT therapists are determined to equip their client with the necessary skills to face real-world situations that may have triggered maladaptive behaviors in the past. This can involve teaching new and healthier ways to cope with these situations. When these mechanisms are used, they should be able to reduce the likelihood of a relapse.

Later Stages

Recovery and the success of CBT is gradual. The client needs to be able to practice and exercise their new skills in real-world applications. They can start slow and attain reachable goals by setting small milestones on the way to full recovery.

Try CBT with clinicians from the Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy in Westport, CT. We are a private group practice that provides comprehensive and individualized mental health services for children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. Our therapy programs provide you with support and resources to help you navigate and recover from emotional and behavioral challenges.

Contact us at 1-888-745-3372 or fill out our form today.

Missed Meals: Elderly Anorexia and How to Help Your Loved Ones Deal with It

elderly man

Eating and anxiety disorders are the leading cause of death among the elderly, according to recent data from nutrition magazine Today’s Dietitian. The magazine also stated that anorexia nervosa is a significant factor among those fatalities. This is contrary to popular belief that eating disorders mostly occur in adolescents and teens.

Understanding the Disorder

Treatment of eating disorders should be taken seriously. The article noted that body image, a common cause of eating disorders in teens, isn’t much of a concern for the elderly. Instead, their anorexia is caused by both physical and psychological factors. These include changes in their sense of smell and taste, deteriorating brain function, and grief caused by the death of a loved one. These problems could escalate into more serious ones like depression. It may cause them to reject food either as a way to seek attention or to actively commit suicide.

A Prevalent Problem

A recent study published in International Psychogeriatrics showed that majority (over 88%) of the elderly with eating disorders had anorexia. The study also showed that these disorders usually came later in their lives. The researchers reviewed 48 papers about eating disorders among people over the age of 50. It showed that death was common among these cases, as there was a 21% mortality rate across all the studies observed.

The discussions above have shown that eating disorders, especially anorexia nervosa, are very serious illnesses that the older population suffers. Here’s what you can do to help your elderly loved one deal with their condition.

Let Them Open Up and Offer Support

If your elderly loved one has an independent spirit, they might not ask for help outright. Based on a research paper that detailed the physical factors that contribute to anorexia, these may include problems like eating alone, difficulty in getting and cooking food, and even ill-fitting dentures. Issues like these often hinder older adults from enjoying their meals.

You’d often hear your loved one say that they’re not hungry or they’d take a few bites and say that it’s enough. If this happens way too often, ask them if they’re having problems eating or preparing their meals. If they don’t acknowledge their problem, let them know that you’re there for them if they need any help.

It’s better to have them open up to you than to interrogate them about their eating habits. Intrusive questions that lead to arguments could cause them to spiral further into their disorder. Just make sure to keep your lines of communication open.

Getting Professional Help

When your loved one finally acknowledges that they’ve been skipping meals, you should get professional help immediately. Mayo Clinic suggests asking for help from a psychologist first to schedule therapy sessions. You should also see a psychiatrist for their medication.

A physician and a dentist should give your loved one checkups for any physical issues that might have emerged from their disorder. Ask their doctor to recommend a dietitian in Westport that can provide a nutrition plan for your loved one.

Anorexia is a frightening illness that some older adults have to deal with. It’s difficult to see them suffer despite your efforts to provide them with tasty meals. Remember that eating disorders are often accompanied by mental illness such as depression. Show your loved one that you care and are doing your best to understand. Let them know that you’re with them through their journey towards a healthy mind and body.

Getting Much-Needed Therapy

Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia are often difficult to treat without therapy. The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health gives comprehensive treatment plans for patients with these conditions. The plans are made to help people manage their desire to binge or their lack of interest in eating.

It’s our goal to provide a safe and comfortable environment that supports your loved one’s mental healing. Know more about our holistic approach to therapy by contacting us today.

suffering from an eating disorder

University Life: The Impact of Eating Disorders on College Students

College can be tough for some students. Apart from dealing with all the requirements of their course, they also face challenges that they may choose to keep to themselves. This struggle often leads to complications, like eating disorders, that affect their overall wellbeing.

Unhealthy eating habits can lead to serious health problems, such as nerve damage, multi-organ failure, and bone loss, among others. Although treatments for people with bulimia and anorexia exist, it’s critical to first determine the reasons behind the eating disorder.

Eating Disorders are Common in College

Statistics show that about 30 million Americans may deal with a type of eating disorder, such as binge-eating, anorexia, and bulimia, at some point in their life. Anyone can have an eating disorder, regardless of age and gender.

Researchers explain that eating problems are likely to occur or worsen during the college years. A survey shows that 10 percent of college students have an eating disorder. Social pressure to make friends, get involved in a romantic relationship, and fear of gaining weight are some factors that can trigger the development of such conditions.

Although several factors can cause eating disorders, a negative body image is a major contributor to this problem. Some individuals would develop unhealthy habits, such as vomiting, improper use of laxatives, and excessive exercise, to avoid gaining weight.

Diminishing Personal Relationships

An eating disorder usually develops due to underlying emotional or psychiatric issues, which in some cases, are not rooted in the desire to lose weight. This can be a coping strategy for dealing with the issues some people find difficult to face.

Apart from peer pressure, major life changes trigger the development of unhealthy eating habits among college students. As the eating disorder progresses, it compromises the patient’s relationship with their loved ones.

You may feel hopeless in thinking that you can’t help a loved one recover from an eating disorder. People facing this condition tend to isolate themselves and avoid social interactions, especially with their loved ones. Eating disorders can feed people with negative thoughts and behaviors that can ruin relationships.

Helping College Students Recover

An eating disorder is a serious condition that needs an immediate solution. Some students, however, don’t undergo treatment for several reasons. These include:

  • They don’t know they have an eating disorder
  • They feel embarrassed about their condition
  • They are not aware of treatment options

Recovering from an eating disorder can be different for individuals. But it is essential for every person struggling with this condition to feel safe in a supportive and loving environment. You can help a loved one by recognizing the signs of eating disorders and then gently expressing your concern for their wellbeing.

Listen. Understand. And support the person through their struggle. You can also suggest they speak with a counselor.

Here at the Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health, we offer therapies, like Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, to help people recover from eating disorders. Our team of psychiatrists provides a safe, supportive, and comfortable environment to manage the condition better.

We practice a holistic approach to mental health where we guide individuals in understanding unpleasant feelings without judgment. These techniques can help them develop strong coping strategies against their condition.

Contact us today to know more about our programs.

people talking

Talk Therapy: How CBT Can Help You Overcome Your Disorder

According to the National Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapists, cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that “emphasizes the important role of thinking in how we feel and what we do.” It is a kind of therapy that utilizes conversation to help you manage your problems and change the way that you think and behave, which can make you feel better about life.

Most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can also be used to help people cope with the following mental and physical health problems:

  • Alcoholism
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
  • Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Sleep issues like insomnia

Advantages of CBT

There are many advantages to getting CBT. Here are just a few of them:

  • Raises self-esteem and confidence – Low self-esteem is often at the root of many disorders. With CBT, patients learn how to build self-esteem by working towards a solution to their problems. CBT also uses positive affirmations and expectations.
  • As effective as medication – According to research, CBT can be just as effective as medication in treating mental disorders such as depression. Coupled with medication, CBT can help patients recover from their mental disorder.
  • Provides a support network – CBT provides a support network for people recovering from their disorder. Patients know that they have people that they can turn to and lean on as they work through their problems.
  • Creation of positive thought – With many mental disorders, negative thought patterns can take over the patient’s life. When faced with difficult situations, patients default to destructive, negative thinking. CBT trains patients to develop more positive, realistic ways of thinking.
  • Anger management – Controlling your anger is one of the things that you learn when you take CBT sessions. CBT teaches patients how to address the underlying issues that cause their emotions to become overwhelming.
  • Better communication skills – It is difficult to maintain relationships when you are suffering from depression, social anxiety, and addiction. With CBT, patients learn how to communicate their feelings healthily, without feeling shame or becoming angry.
  • Improved coping skills – CBT gives patients avenues to deal with stressful situations such as grief and trauma. Patients learn to express their feelings instead of bottling things up.
  • Prevents relapse – By teaching patients how to identify their problems and use healthy coping mechanisms, CBT provides patients with the tools they need to prevent relapses. With CBT, patients are better equipped to recognize thought patterns that they should avoid.

It is important to note that, while it has many advantages, CBT is not a cure-all for mental disorders. It can’t eliminate your problems, on its own, but it can help you manage them in a way that is positive and healthy. It requires work on your part, but it is worth it.

If you’re searching for places to go for CBT in Westport, Connecticut, look no further than The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health. We treat a variety of illnesses and situations, such as anxiety disorders, trauma, substance abuse, marital conflict, self-harm, depressive disorders, and others. For more information on our services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We would be more than happy to help you.

Pregnant woman touching her belly

Regaining Body Control: Overcoming an Eating Disorder During Pregnancy

Carrying a child means ensuring your nutrition and well-being. The lack of proper nutrition could have adverse effects on your and your baby’s health.

For people with eating disorders (ED) — a group of illnesses differentiated by irregular eating habits and a fixation on body weight — the changes during would-be motherhood could cause profound distress. While some ED patients improve during pregnancy, some may relapse even after they’ve recovered from the condition.

The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health encourages ED patients to seek eating disorder treatment in Westport. The condition may make the already difficult transition into motherhood a lot harder.

Eating Disorder Risks Overlap with Childbearing Years

Men and women of all ages can experience an ED. But the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health share that women in their 20s and early teens are more likely to suffer from anorexia and bulimia. The research notes that women in their mid to late-20s are more likely to receive a diagnosis for binge eating disorder (BED).

Some women carry a higher ED risk during their childbearing years. A 2013 study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health holds that the risk of developing ED during pregnancy is “alarmingly high.” The findings show that 1 in every 21 women had an ED while pregnant.

Some mothers-to-be may even develop an ED for the first time while pregnant. Of the respondents, 1.7 percent report developing a new case of binge eating disorder (BED).

Keeping Up with Physical Changes during Pregnancy

For those with a history of ED, there is a high risk of relapse during and after pregnancy. In turn, this could lead to harmful behaviour, such as restricting food, over-exercising, and binge eating.

All the attention on eating well during pregnancy and measuring weight loss at prenatal appointments could, for instance, be a trigger for women who already have complicated relationships with food and their bodies.

And social media doesn’t make things any better — there are countless pictures of women sporting flat chests and six-packs months into their pregnancy on Instagram. This could take a psychological toll because control and positive body image relate strongly to an eating disorder.

The Need for Compassionate Care

Having a baby is a stressful time, but some may feel uncomfortable sharing their struggles because they feel like pregnancy should be a “euphoric” experience. Choosing not to speak up may stem from a fear of judgment, blame, or intervention. And this is why eating disorders during pregnancy are hard to detect and even more challenging to treat.

But recovery is possible. Pregnancies conceived during a pregnancy do not have to end in tragedy since the outcome could depend on your weight, nutritional status, and the type of support you receive from doctors.

Soon-to-be mothers need adequate support, guidance, and understanding when coping with an ED during pregnancy. And it all starts by receiving multi-faceted, compassionate treatment.

The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health helps patients overcome unhealthy eating behaviors. We provide mental tools to help you develop healthy coping skills. Contact us today.

family holiday dinner

Supporting a Loved One Recovering from Bulimia Through the Holidays

While many enjoy a holiday feast, a loved one recovering from bulimia might feel stressed and overwhelmed. He or she might feel pressured to eat multiple courses because he or she doesn’t want to dampen anyone’s spirits. He or she might face relatives who point out the amount of food on his or her plate. The person might receive boxes of luxury chocolates and other food that he or she can’t refuse.

As a result, your loved one might not enjoy the festive atmosphere in Westport. Worse, it might throw his or her eating disorder treatment plans out of balance.

Take heart in the fact that there are many ways you can make the holidays more enjoyable for your loved one. Start by accepting that your family doesn’t have to follow holiday conventions. After all, Christmas is all about spending time with people that matter the most. It’s alright if you don’t serve dinner that looks good on social media; what’s important is that each member of your family has a good time.

Make the Holidays Less Food-Centric

When people think of Christmas, one of the first things that come to mind is food. For a person recovering from bulimia, however, this abundance causes stress. So, make the holidays a little less food-centric.

Focus on other traditions that your family enjoys, such as playing Christmas games, watching movies, or singing carols. Share stories or make arts and crafts. Give and open gifts. You can invite them to go light sighting or volunteer at a Christmas shelter.

Be Mindful of the Food

Celebrating the holidays without festive food is hard. To accommodate a loved one recovering from bulimia, involve him or her in the preparations. Ask what he or she would feel comfortable eating. Encourage the person to help you make that dish from scratch.

During dinner, be mindful of how you serve food. You can plate up meat and potatoes for everyone, for instance. You loved one will not feel singled out and, at the same time, have an agreeable amount of food on the plate.

A little encouragement to eat is enough; don’t push him or her to try each dish. Similarly, avoid praising the person when he or she eats. Don’t take offense, too, if the person refuses the chocolate soufflé you’ve worked on all day. Support your loved one in his or her mindful eating.

Steer Clear of “The Talk”

Many people invite extended family over for Christmas. While your family knows what subjects to avoid over dinner, the relatives you’ve invited might not. They might make comments that, though well-meaning, make a person recovering from bulimia feel uneasy.

So, before the get-together, gently remind your relatives to avoid talking about appearance, diets, and weight loss or gain. People recovering from bulimia tend to be self-critical towards their body image, and these discussions might fuel negative behaviors. They, however, welcome conversations about other subjects that take their mind off the food.

If your loved one excuses him or herself during the celebrations, allow them to spend time by themselves. This would help him or her cope with the flurry of activities and regain composure. You wouldn’t want to have disagreements during Christmas, after all.

Recovering from bulimia is not a one-person battle. Your loved one needs your support to overcome the disorder, especially during the holidays. For more information about bulimia recovery, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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.

a woman by the field

The Mental & Biological Causes of Bulimia and Eating Disorders

A person diagnosed with bulimia (or bulimia nervosa) faces potentially life-threatening mental and physical risks, if not treated appropriately. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, only 1 percent of women and 0.1 percent of men in the United States have bulimia, but researchers dispute this as the real figure; like other mental health disorders, many choose to keep their condition a secret.

Bulimia stems from both mental and biological factors. If you or a loved one shows signs of bulimia, seek immediate medical attention to help treat the condition and prevent further damage to you or your loved one’s body and mind. Some of the symptoms listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 include:

  • Evidence of recurring episodes of binge eating (e.g., large amounts of food disappearing)
  • Evidence of purging and inappropriate behavior to prevent weight gain (e.g., induced vomiting, laxatives, fasting, excessive exercise)
  • Uncomfortable eating around others, fear of eating in public
  • Stained teeth
  • Drastic weight changes
  • Self-injury, substance abuse, and other signs seen in mental health conditions

Different studies have found many causes related to bulimia, which stretches to both one’s physical and psychological health.

Emotional Stress & Mental Health

There is no specific mental cause for bulimia; one of the usual reasons is it is a coping method for emotional stress. Although it starts as a coping method, it quickly develops into an uncontrollable habit. Often, bulimia appears in a person along with other mental conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and others.

Body Image and External Factors

Many people find an irrational fear of weight gain and, as such, perform dangerous methods to avoid food intake and weight gain. Research has shown that environmental factors such as the media and fashion industry’s portrayal of beauty as well as sports or other sectors that emphasize weight loss affects one’s body image. However, while bulimia is linked to the fear of becoming overweight, researchers found it is more related to emotional and mental health.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not always about one’s body image. Bulimia also stems from external problems. Problems such as within one’s family trigger some patients to develop bulimia, which is why studies have found involving parents in adolescent bulimia treatment are far more effective than treatment where the patient alone undergoes therapy.

Genetic Inheritance

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, bulimia and other mental disorders seem to have a hereditary factor, as it occurs within families in between generations. Studies have not sufficiently proven if this is the work of people’s genetics or because of their shared environment, and it is a study worth investigating in the future.

Regardless of the cause, patients who have bulimia are at risk of several mental and physical disorders, which, if left untreated, can be fatal. Diagnosis is difficult because some people choose to hide their condition and symptoms. However, if they spot such symptoms, they should seek immediate care for their physical and mental state. The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health offers bulimia treatment in Westport that addresses the symptoms of the eating disorders, as well as their possible triggers.

Click here to learn more about eating disorders and their treatment today.

Startup Business People Working on Laptop

How to Deal with Eating Disorder in Your Workplace

Eating disorders can affect anyone, even adults in the workforce. But you might find it difficult to identify whether one of your employees suffers from such problems.

If left undiagnosed or untreated, eating problems can cause serious health complications and can affect someone’s job performance. Fortunately, treatments like Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) help individuals overcome bulimia and other eating disorders. DBT teaches individuals new skills to manage negative emotions and reduce conflicts in relationships.

Now, the question is: how can you address eating disorders in your office?

Understand Their Condition

A good starting point would be to educate yourself. Eating disorders are serious problems associated with eating behaviors that have adversely affect someone’s health, emotions, and ability to function in daily life activities.

Eating problems usually occur when a person worries too much about body shape and weight because of social pressures. In America, a significant number of people face the challenges of these disorders.

The most common types of eating problems are bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and anorexia nervosa. Bulimia refers to consuming a huge amount of food followed by purging through forced vomiting.

Unlike people with bulimia, those who have anorexia tend to ignore food or only consume small servings of certain meals. They perceive themselves as overweight even if they are alarmingly underweight.

Watch Out for the Signs

Although it’s not easy to identify someone with eating disorders, there are signs to pay attention to allowing you to help an employee or coworker.

Individuals who have problematic eating habits are commonly obsessed with food, appearance, weight, and dieting. They admire thin people and feel envious of their thinness. This attitude may result in excessive weight loss.

Additionally, these people also try to avoid corporate events that involve food. You can observe that they withdraw from their co-workers and routine tasks.

In some cases, you may also notice evidence of binge eating. Others, on the other hand, head to the bathroom after eating to purge. They might also have scarred knuckles because of forced vomiting.

Talk About the Problem

If you have employees showing warning signs of an eating disorder and their performance starts to decline, try to have a discussion about it in a private meeting. Remember though not to make assumptions solely based on their appearance and to respect the individual’s right to confidentiality. You may also wish to bring in the human resources department to the conversation.

It’s essential to promote awareness and educate everyone in your workplace about eating disorders. A concerned and inclusive workplace allows for efficiency and productivity.

These illnesses can be life-threatening. So it’s crucial to pay attention to unusual behaviors that your employees show toward eating. Our Westport, Connecticut center offers comprehensive treatment plans designed to help individuals live free from eating disorders. We combine DBT with mindfulness-based psychotherapies and relaxation techniques.

We practice a variety of techniques that can help patients to heal in a safe and comfortable environment and achieve long-term recovery.

Contact us today to know more about our strategies.