What is an Eating Disorder?
Eating disorders are found in ten percent of the population. Of those who suffer from an eating disorder, ten percent of those are male. Eating disorders begin as a coping strategy that is used to deal with life’s difficult situations. This occurs when an individual’s internal abilities are not sufficient to meet the demands in ones life and an alternative method is adopted in the form of an eating disorder. Disordered eating does not develop from one singular reason, but an interaction between personal, family, culture/social, biological, development, and spiritual influences as they uniquely affect each person. When helping an individual with an eating disorder, special care must be given since each situation is very individual and unique,as there is no single cause.
The risk factor for each individual regarding eating disorders differ, becoming heightened when such things as disconnection from relationships occur, a negative self/body image exists, a healthy self-expression is disallowed, and/or a preoccupation with ones body and food is present. Early warning signs include concerns with feeling “fat”, dieting, mood swings, frequent weigh-ins and measurement of body size, low self-esteem, people pleasing, and withdrawal from activities and people.
An eating disorder will usually begin with a triggering event. This can be a negative comment from another, leaving home for the first time, the good feeling that results from a diet and the accompanying weight loss. It can be a more serious event such as an illness, or the death of a loved one. Or it can evolve from the long-term pain of trauma, sexual/emotional abuse, a difficult home life, a home life that is expected to present as perfect or disallows an individual a healthy self-expression or age-appropriate control. These events may not cause the eating disorder alone, but create a crisis event that needs to be managed.
How does one find help?
There are many excellent treatment facilities and specialists who are able to help individuals overcome an eating disorder. The good news is that they are completely curable. This is not something one is doomed to suffer with for a lifetime. If you struggle with this, getting help is your most important step
If you need a therapist to help you, we have a large selection of online therapists who are professional and licensed counselors, able to help you right where you are over the phone, via email, or webcam/messenger. If you prefer face to face counseling, please use our therapist directory and find a city close to you with a therapist who can meet your needs.
Find a Counselor or Therapist Now
- Browse Therapy By All Regions - Locate a therapist by Specialty throughout North America
- Online Counseling - Find A Licensed Therapist Over Phone or Internet
- Main Therapist Search - Our Primary Therapist Search Page