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Anxiety and Eating Disorders: Connection and Treatment

Treatment of Anxiety and Eating Disorders have evolved into a modern-day phenomenon due to social media, poor sleep hygiene, and reliance on stimulants like caffeine.
Regardless of age, gender, race, or nationality, people tend to have more than one disorder depending on their lifestyle and surroundings.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder are some of the most prevalent anxiety-related illnesses that may develop into eating disorders.
Whether symptoms develop in childhood or later in life, anxiety may be triggered by several things, and it is treatable.

Common Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder

Treatment of Anxiety and Eating Disorders are accompanied by symptoms that can be prevalent among people.
Below is a list of some generally known anxiety symptoms:

  • Hyperventilation (breathing rapidly)
  • Increased heart rate
  • Feeling easily fatigued
  • Feeling agitated, nervous, or tense
  • Sweating and tremors
  • Feeling of forthcoming danger or panic
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Need to avoid anxiety-generating situations
  • Difficulty controlling worry
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Experiencing gastrointestinal problems
  • Urge to avoid situations that trigger anxiety

Common Treatment Methods

Diagnosing and treating co-occurring anxiety and eating disorders is vital.
One can trigger the other, and it is most often the case that the anxiety disorder triggers the eating disorder.
But the reverse is not excluded either.
Our eating habits are the one thing in life we have absolute control over. However, we can make unhealthy nutrition decisions that can lead to long-term consequences.
We can effectively treat anxiety and eating disorders by implementing various methods.
The combination of mental health therapy and medication is considered the best combination for efficient treatment.

Medication Treatment

Medication treatment is effective and safe, often used together with therapy.
Medication treatment requires patience depending on the severity of symptoms or individual circumstances.
Finding the proper short-term or long-term medication that works best for the patient might take some time.
Depending on the type of anxiety and the patient’s mental and physical health, a doctor may prescribe antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication.
In some instances, the patient may have to take sedatives or beta-blockers, which provide short-term relief.

Therapy Treatment

Mental health therapy is a proven successful treatment for anxiety and eating disorders.
Psychological counseling involves working together with a therapist to reduce the symptoms of anxiety.
Dialectical Behavior therapy may treat a number of behavioral and cognitive issues.
While Dialectical Behavior therapy is comprehensive, the best treatment for both anxiety and eating disorder treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Considered to be an evidence-based treatment, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has helped treat most mental illnesses.
As a short-term treatment, it helps patients learn specific skills that help them return to activities they have avoided because of the anxiety.
Situations and objects that trigger anxiety are slowly approached, helping patients overcome anxiety symptoms.
At the same time, they learn to manage common triggers and build confidence.

Effective Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Connecticut

If you’re struggling to navigate your anxiety, which has affected your eating habits, the Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health can offer advice and services for treatment.
We work with patients from the Connecticut community to aid their anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.
Our mental health professionals implement the latest Cognitive and Dialectical Behavior Therapy techniques to ensure effective treatment.
Our dedicated team of psychotherapists helps clients navigate behavioral and emotional challenges, making mental health a priority.
Call us at 1-203-307-5788 or contact us via an online form to schedule an appointment.

What suicidal ideation is, who are most affected, and what you can do to help


According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States in 2019. But with the sudden lockdowns because of the coronavirus pandemic and resulting feelings of isolation, researchers have shown that there’s also an increase in people having suicidal thoughts.

In this article, The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health (CCBH), an advocate for emotional and mental well-being in Westport, aims to shed light on what suicidal ideation is, who are most affected, and what you can do to help.

In this article, The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health (CCBH), an advocate for emotional and mental well-being in Westport, aims to shed light on what suicidal ideation is, who are most affected, and what you can do to help.

What is suicidal ideation?

Suicidal ideation refers to the thoughts people have of killing themselves.
These suicidal thoughts may include ideas of harming themselves or the general idea of wanting to die.

They’re called ideations because not everyone who has them acts on them. However, that doesn’t mean they should just be ignored.

More than just thoughts, suicidal ideation also broadly covers suicidal behaviors:

Suicidal threat – At this point, the sufferer tells other people about their suicidal thoughts
Suicide attempt – The sufferer pushes through with their plans to kill themselves but does not result in their death
Non-suicidal self-injury – Causing intentional and direct injuries to themselves that may or may not be intended to cause death

Suicidal ideation scale

Suicidal ideation scales are tools healthcare professionals use to assess how likely someone is to hurt themselves. These assessments can offer early intervention and treatment for affected individuals.

Some of these assessments include Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation, Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale, Suicide Assessment Five-Step Evaluation and Triage, and Patient Health Questionnaire-9.
They may use one or more of these scales to identify the severity of someone’s suicidal thoughts.

Types of suicidal ideation

Active ideation – They constantly think about dying and have plans to commit suicide.
Passive ideation – They constantly think about death and dying but do not have plans to commit suicide.

Who are the most affected?

The people more likely to be at risk of having suicidal thoughts are those who suffer from:

● Mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder
● A recent loss or tragedy
● High stress levels
● Past trauma
● Chronic pain

Those who have a family history of suicide and dabble in the use of illegal drugs are also likely to think about suicide and death often.

Signs to watch out for

It may not always be easy to spot, but people who are prone to think about suicide say they feel no emotion or they’re hopeless.
They feel like they’re trapped in a situation, and death is the only escape.
They might also feel guilty or ashamed of these feelings, claiming that they are nothing but a burden to friends and family.

They might also show signs of extreme distress or act aggressively.
You might also want to note if they’re behaving recklessly or impulsively when they’re normally rational.

If the suicidal ideation is severe, they might even go as far as to buy weapons or get their affairs in order by making a will or getting rid of items with sentimental value.

What can be done to combat it?

If you’re concerned that someone you care for might be at risk of suicidal ideation, the first thing to be done is to ask them outright if they have thoughts of harming or killing themselves. Doing so will not make them about suicide, say mental health experts.

You’ll also want to remain supportive by talking to them and checking in regularly.
You could also provide them with important lifelines like National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Seek the Help of Professionals

Perhaps the single most important thing you can do for your loved one is to seek the help of mental health professionals.
They’re in the best position to help your friend or family member get through the dark times.

The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health (CCBH) has been helping children, adolescents, and adults begin their healing since 2015.
We understand how difficult it can be to watch a loved one struggle mentally and emotionally.
We aim to provide a thorough and effective treatment plan through cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

Request an appointment today to get a treatment plan for suicidal ideation.

Anxiety and Depression: The Pandemic and Its Impact on the Mental Health of Youth


Multiple studies on the pandemic’s effect on mental health have shown an increase in the rates of anxiety and depression symptoms in youth.

According to the results of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, 1 in 3 teen girls and 1 in 5 teen boys have experienced new or worsening anxiety since March 2020.
Meanwhile, a report by the U.S. Surgeon General found that symptoms of anxiety and depression in youth doubled during the pandemic.

Read on to learn the factors that contribute to this recent increase in depression and anxiety in young people and what can be done to improve their mental wellness.

Causes of Worsening Mental Health in Teens and Pre-Teens

Mental wellness among young people had already been declining even before the pandemic.
According to the CDC, more than 1 in 3 high school students experienced persistent sadness and hopelessness in 2019.
Meanwhile, a report by WHO estimated that 3.6% of children aged 10 to 14 and 4.6% of teens aged 15 to 19 have experienced an anxiety disorder.

Preteens and teens are faced with many challenges, even in ordinary times.
They are faced with countless changes and must learn to navigate difficult situations at home, at school, and in social settings.
Now, young people must also deal with the changes and challenges brought by the pandemic.

There is no single reason why young people get anxious or depressed during the pandemic.
Instead, there are many triggers and factors that play a role in developing anxiety or depression. Some examples are:

  • Grief and loss: More than 140,000 children in the U.S. have had a parent or grandparent caregiver pass away due to COVID-19.
  • Feeling unmoored: For many young people, the COVID-19 pandemic is a traumatic event that upended their lives and routines. Unpredictability and the inability to be in control of their lives are particularly difficult for teens and preteens to cope with.
  • Isolation: Stay-at-home orders and social distancing have forced young people to miss out on opportunities to socialize with their peers, such as at prom, football games, and other school activities. Dating—critical to the development of social skills, self-identity, and emotional maturity—has also been made difficult due to pandemic-related restrictions.

Anxiety and Depression in Young People: Identifying the Signs

Anxiety and depression manifest in different ways, but their symptoms often overlap.
The following are some of the most common symptoms of both mental health conditions in preteens and teens:

  • Irritability, unexplained outbursts, and other changes in behavior
  • Sleep problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Spending more time alone
  • Physical changes, such as extreme fatigue, changes in eating habits, and headaches
  • A decline in academic performance
  • Low self-esteem and constant seeking of reassurance
  • Excessive Internet use

Addressing Anxiety and Depression in Teens and Preteens

Parents and caregivers may find that young people are often reluctant to talk about their emotions or moods. However, having a discussion is critical to gaining insight into the teen or preteen’s challenges and needs.
A discussion also lets teens and preteens know that they are loved, validated, and supported.

It is also critical to seek help from a mental health professional, especially if signs and symptoms of anxiety or depression last for more than two weeks.
They will conduct a screening to help with diagnosis and recommend interventions and treatments.
These may include medication and therapy.

Reach Out to a Licensed Therapist

The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health (CCBH) is staffed by a team of experienced and compassionate mental health professionals, including licensed clinical social workers (CSWs) and psychotherapists.
Our services include individual and family therapy, group skills training, and telehealth therapy.

Reach out to us today to learn more about our approach to mental wellness and our individualized treatment plans for anxiety and depression in children and adolescents.


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.

Woman concern about weight

Binge Eating Disorders: 5 Ways to Curb Compulsive Eating

Do you remember the last time you ate too much? How did you feel after that? Did you find yourself dealing with guilt or shame? 5 Ways to Curb Compulsive Eating

Though it is quite normal to overeat, every once in a while, compulsive overeating may be a sign of binge eating disorder (BED).

What is Binge Eating Disorder?

The National Eating Disorders Association identifies binge eating disorder (BED) as the most common eating disorder in the US. The following signs characterize this condition:

  • Inability to stop eating
  • Eating even while full
  • Eating normally around others but binging when you’re alone
  • Feeling that eating is the only way to reduce stress
  • Feeling depressed or guilty after overeating

BED is caused by several factors, such as:

  • Social and cultural pressure: Exposure to the pressure to be thin or frequent comments about your body and weight
  • Psychological factors: Depression, low self-esteem, body dissatisfaction
  • Biological abnormalities: Low levels of serotonin, incorrect messages sent by the hypothalamus about hunger and fullness

How to Stop Binge Eating

Binge eating leads to a range of emotional, physical, and social problems. You’re likely to experience health issues like diabetes and heart problems. You may also experience anxiety and depression.

However, many people have recovered from BED. You can, too. If you’re experiencing symptoms of BED, 5 Ways to Curb Compulsive Eating:

#1: Develop a healthy relationship with food

Learn to differentiate physical and emotional hunger. If you just ate and your stomach’s not rumbling, you’re probably not hungry. Let that craving pass.

Don’t skip meals because you’re most likely to overeat. Stick to scheduled mealtimes. Be a mindful eater and savor what you’re eating so you consume less food.

#2: Find a way to manage unpleasant emotions

Identify your binge-eating patterns using a food and mood diary. Every time you overeat or are tempted to eat, figure out what caused the urge.

#3: Control the cravings

Instead of turning to food for relief, distract yourself by doing something else: take a walk, hang out with a friend, or read a book. Once you’re interested in something else, the craving will go away.

#4: Take up healthy lifestyle habits

Find other ways to handle stress without food, from regular exercise to meditation. Get enough sleep every night to control your appetite and support your mood.

#5: Seek help from a professional

Sometimes it’s challenging to stop overeating on your own, especially if there are deep-rooted problems involved. Work with a professional to help you discover psychological triggers that might be causing you to binge eat.

Overcome Binge Eating at the Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health

Binge eating disorder is a psychological condition that affects your relationship with food and your body. It’s possible to overcome it by seeking help and making healthy lifestyle changes.

Begin your healing from binge eating by contacting the Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health (CCBH). We provide a range of treatments for those with eating disorders in Westport.

Our team works with you to gain the capacity and confidence to manage the symptoms of your conditions. By evaluating your specific conditions and needs, we create a comprehensive treatment that will help you deal with life situations positively and productively.

Set an appointment with us by filling out our contact form or calling 1-888-745-3372.


Boiling Over: How to Identify and Treat Anger Issues

Anger management problems are widespread in the United States, as over one in 10 adults have them. Anger is something that everyone experiences, whether you’re ticked off because you missed the bus or you’re fuming with rage because your credit card got hacked. According to the American Psychological Society, it’s a natural response against threats. It raises your heart rate, energy hormones, blood pressure, and adrenaline to allow you to fend for yourself. Identify and Treat Anger Issues

Red Hot Causes

Internal and external problems can slowly lead you to your tipping point. This may be caused by everyday annoyances like having your car break down in the middle of Westport, Connecticut or interacting with a coworker you dislike.

The APA says that it could also be triggered by remembering traumatic events that happened in your life. A recent survey published in the Central Nervous System (CNS) Spectrums journal found that anger may be associated with different mental issues such as drug dependence, psychotic disorder, bipolar disorder, and personality disorders. Some people are also just born irritable and easily angered, a characteristic that can be observed at a young age.

While it’s a normal emotion, anger can spiral out of control and cause problems in your personal life and career. As such, this powerful emotion should be managed with utmost care and responsibility. Here’s how to spot anger issues and handle them properly.

Identify and Acknowledge

You may have underlying anger issues without even realizing it. They may manifest discreetly like passive-aggression. It is a dangerous way of managing your anger, as it prevents you from dealing with what makes you angry and causes you to ruin your relationships with others unknowingly.

You may also be filled with so much rage that you hurt yourself or others physically and verbally. And when these heightened bursts of anger, whether direct or indirect, last a long time, you may have severe issues that need professional intervention.

Take Control of Your Anger

Anger issues stem from losing control over your emotions, causing you to act violently. Gain authority over your anger with the following methods.

  • Express Yourself Properly — You shouldn’t keep your anger bottled up, but it’s not good to let your rage rip, either. If you’re mad at a person, try to write down what angers you about them. Approach them and discuss these issues with them as calmly as you can. The same goes for other problems. Just find a person you trust to discuss them with.
  • Get Some Time Off — Your anger may be rooted in the frustrating cycle of being stuck in a traffic jam, getting to your nine-to-five job, and going home tired and flustered. Give yourself short breaks at work to meditate, read a book, or listen to your favorite podcast. Use your vacation credits to go on a week-long trip or to focus on hobbies that bring you joy.
  • Get Professional Help — If the first two suggestions didn’t work for you, it might be time to get help from mental health professionals. Treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may improve the way you solve your daily problems so that you don’t feel frustrated every time you face them. Along with therapy, your psychiatrist may recommend antidepressants like Prozac to help you calm down during stressful events.

Everyone feels angry from time to time, but not enough to sabotage their relationships and career. If you feel like your anger is out of control or uncharacteristic of you, calm yourself down with these recommendations. When worse comes to worst, don’t be afraid to consult your psychiatrist. Anger is an emotion that you should never let boil over.

Get Professional Help for Your Anger Issues

You must not wait until your relationships and career are ruined by anger before consulting a professional. Here at the Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health, we’ll help you solve your anger issues through tried and tested methods like cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. We have a team of experienced psychiatrists and clinicians who are ready to provide personalized care for you. With a safe and comfortable facility, you’ll feel right at home during your recovery.

Contact us today to start your journey to recovery.

Girl with eating disorder can't having problems with eating

Know the Signs: How Can You Tell if a Loved One Has Bulimia?

Bulimia is an eating disorder that affects millions of people in the United States. Like many maladies, without diagnosis and proper treatment, bulimia may be fatal to those afflicted. The disease manifests in different ways, with multiple warning signs and symptoms.

The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health helps you understand the condition and shares the signs that indicate a close friend or family member is suffering from the disorder. Identifying the symptoms is a vital step in getting them a treatment plan for bulimia that could save their life.

Who can be Afflicted by Bulimia?

Statistics indicate that bulimia nervosa afflicts approximately 0.5 percent of men and 1.5 percent of women in the United States. This is roughly 1.5 million men and 4.7 million women living with the disorder. Although bulimia mostly manifests during adolescence and young adulthood, it may also occur among children or older adults.

Cases of bulimia among women are more widespread, but 10 to 15 percent of bulimics are male. The risk is greater among men who are in sports where lean body types are more prevalent, and among gay or bisexual men. People of African American or Latin descent are also more likely to develop the disorder.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Bulimia?

Bulimia primarily presents as episodes of binge eating, when someone eats a lot of food in one sitting, followed by purging. Purging usually takes the form of self-induced vomiting, but bulimics also achieve it through the overuse of laxatives and enemas, or excessive use of weight-loss supplements. Bulimics obsess about removing excess calories and weight. To this end, they may abuse fasting methods, follow extreme dieting practices, or overindulge in exercises.

If you suspect that a loved one has developed bulimia, you must pay attention to psychological and physiological signs.

The psychological symptoms of bulimia nervosa include the following:

  • They’re preoccupied with thoughts of weight-loss, body image, fat, or calories
  • They don’t like eating when other people are around
  • They’re too concerned about their body size or shape
  • They’ve developed irregular eating habits
  • They’re afraid of any weight gain
  • They frequently excuse themselves after a meal to go to the bathroom and spend an inordinate amount of time there
  • After their trips to the bathroom, they consume large amounts of breath mints or use lots of mouthwash to cover up the smell of their purging

The physiological effects of bulimia manifest as any or all the following:

  • Their weight fluctuates up and down
  • They have dental health issues, such as enamel erosion, discoloration, tooth sensitivity, and cavities, from their vomiting
  • Their hands are scarred or calloused, form inducing vomiting
  • Their hands and feet start to swell
  • Fine, downy hair strands start growing on their bodies, which is lanugo, a sign of malnutrition.

If someone you care about is manifesting multiple symptoms, they may be suffering from bulimia nervosa. Bulimia is difficult to handle without professional help since it stems from a problem of self-image rather than perceived physiological flaws. Without the assistance of trained individuals, bulimia may eat a person away. Don’t wait until it’s too late to contact a reliable treatment facility.

Better Health in Connecticut

At the Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health, experts use cognitive behavioral therapy to get to the root of eating disorders and other mental issues. Contact us for more details about our treatments.