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Knowing When to Ask For Help With an Eating Disorder (ED)

Eating disorders (EDs) have often been misconstrued by television and social media as diets, lifestyle choices, or even true healthy living. The body standards we see in advertisements all around us can have a detrimental mental effect from a young age, and young people can develop poor self-images surrounding their weight, size, and shape. This can sometimes lead to harmful behavioral disorders that affect the mind and the body.

What Is an ED?

EDs are a set of mental health conditions related to food intake, body image, and obsession with weight. They are most common in young women, but they also occur across a broad range of ages and genders. “Eating disorder” is an umbrella term that can refer to multiple conditions with varying symptoms.

Anorexia Nervosa

This type of eating disorder is a condition in which an individual restricts food, avoids eating, and/or eats only very small amounts of particular foods. A person with anorexia may become preoccupied with calorie intake or the perceived “healthiness” of different foods. They may weigh themselves more frequently than normal or consider themself to be overweight no matter how thin they become.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia is a condition marked by recurring bouts of eating unusually large amounts of food, referred to as binging, followed by behaviors such as forced vomiting, use of laxatives, fasting, and excessive exercise. Individuals with bulimia usually experience extreme feelings of distress at their out-of-control behaviors.

Binge Eating Disorder

This eating disorder is a condition in which an individual experiences recurring episodes of binging. These episodes are not followed by episodes of purging like bulimia, however. People with binge eating disorder are often overweight, though people with this condition can be any size.

How and When to Ask for Help With an ED

It’s important to acknowledge and understand that these behaviors are unhealthy for both the mind and body. If they persist for long enough, they can even be fatal.

You may experience feelings of guilt and shame surrounding your physical or mental condition, but these things will only deteriorate further without intervention. Reaching out to someone you trust and who cares about you can be an important first step to getting help. They can offer you emotional support and understanding and help you find resources to receive treatment.

Meeting with a psychologist, therapist, or another mental health professional can often be helpful to people hoping to recover. The cooccurrence rate of eating disorders with other mental health issues is high, specifically in cases of anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and depression. A mental health professional can advise you on the best way to take care of your mind. Seeing a nutritionist or dietician may also be helpful to improve your diet and calorie intake and get your body healthy again.

It is never too early to ask for help with an eating disorder. If you are experiencing symptoms or thoughts of food or weight preoccupy you frequently, it’s time to reach out. At The Guest House, your mental and physical health is important to us. Our team of mental health professionals is ready to welcome you into a judgment-free environment where your well-being is the top priority. No matter your age, gender, or size, we want to help you achieve a life beyond your eating disorder. Call us today at (855) 483-7800.