Eating Disorder Counseling in Grand Rapids
What is an Eating Disorder?
We all know someone who has gone on a diet before, attempting to transform their health or body in some way. While having an Eating Disorder or going on a diet both relate to changes in health and body and food intake, there is a significant difference between the two. An Eating Disorder is when someone consistently alters their food consumption to the point that it impairs their health or functioning. Dieting is when someone temporarily alters their food consumption to develop a healthier lifestyle. The key differences here are the time frame that a change in food consumption lasts vs. the type of effect the change in food consumption effects the individual. Eating Disorders effect the body mentally, physically, and emotionally and can become very destructive if they are not properly identified and treated appropriately in a timely manner.
Types of Eating Disorders
There are different types of Eating Disorders that an individual may suffer from. The most common Eating Disorders for adults and a brief description of what each Eating Disorder entails is listed below.
- Anorexia Nervosa: This disorder occurs when an individual restricts their food consumption leading to significantly low body weight. Those suffering from this disorder also have a fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though their weight is below average, causing them to engage in behaviors that prevent weight gain.
- Bulimia Nervosa: Individuals suffering from Bulimia Nervosa engage in binge-eating at least once a week for three months. In addition to binge-eating, these individuals engage in behaviors such as vomiting, fasting, or excessive exercise to prevent gaining weight. These behaviors are driven by a disproportionate self-evaluation of their own body.
- Binge-Eating Disorder: This disorder is seen when an individual engages in binge-eating which involves eating more than an average person would eat in a discrete amount of time and not having control over what he/she eats during that time.
Treatment and Counseling for Eating Disorders
Eating Disorders are complex and extremely serious diseases that can become both life-threatening, and life long, making it imperative that those suffering seek out immediate professional help. The first step towards recovery can one of the hardest steps for people to take. If you are suffering from an eating disorder, this means admitting to yourself that you need help. If someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, the first step is to communicate your concern with them in a loving and supportive way. Whether you are suffering yourself or someone you know is suffering, communication is important to begin the process and help the healing throughout the journey to recovery. When the first step has been taken and the individual is ready for treatment, professionals at each of our locations can offer an effective and supportive treatment for Eating Disorders. With Eating Disorders, weight gain is the first priority, and the highest concern, to ensure that the individual is not at severe risk. The best route could also start with psychotherapy, as it is also extremely important to help the individual modify any of their dysfunctional beliefs about their body, develop a strategy that prevents them from relapsing, and learn to see themselves in a more positive way. Recovery from an Eating Disorder is a difficult, enduring journey but is possible with the right support system and treatment.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, please do not hesitate to call Sollars and Associates so we can get you immediate eating disorder counseling and the help you need.