Piece of Minds



Eating Disorders

When people mention ‘eating disorders’ you immediately think of stick-thin young girls, but as many experts are beginning to recognise, there is so much more to eating disorders than simply depriving yourself from food.
Having an eating disorder is often a serious and depilating condition which can lead to serious illness and complications.  Effective treatment is vital for long term recovery and health. 
Anorexia and Bulimia are probably the most recognised eating disorders.  These complex eating disorders are characterised by abnormal habits that may involve eating either insufficient or excessive food.  These conditions are more prevalent in women than men and typically involve both the individual's physical and emotional health.  
Anorexia nervosa is characterised by refusal to maintain a healthy body weight.  Sufferers often have ‘body dysmorphia’, where the individual becomes obsessed with their appearance, with a distorted view of how they may appear to others.  This can lead to an irrational fear of gaining weight. 
Anorexia suffers often feel a compulsive need to exercise, typically beyond the point where these activities are healthy.  Instead, excessive exercise becomes harmful and can lead to physical stress, dehydration and long-term heart damage.  Unfortunately many athletes, including gymnasts, runners, swimmers and dancers, suffer this condition.  Here sufferers have the mistaken view that they must be slimmer to perform better       
Bulimia is characterised by recurrent binge eating episodes followed by compensatory behaviours such as self-induced vomiting or taking excessive amounts of laxatives.
Although unusual, some suffers may suffer from a condition called ‘Pica’.  This is an eating disorder where the individual feels compelled to eat non-food substances such as soil, plaster, sand, paper, etc.  This is a potentially serious condition as sufferers may be drawn to ingest substances that can lead to an intestinal tear or blockage. 

The cause of eating disorders is unknown but a combination of psychological, biological and environmental factors are thought to play a role.  The consequences of eating disorders can be severe and may lead to premature death or suicide.  Eating disorders may also be associated with other conditions such as ‘obsessive compulsive disorder’ (OCD) and ‘attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder’   (ADHD).
Eating disorders should be treated through a combination of medical and mental health professionals.  Hypnotherapy should certainly not replace traditional care, but can offer the sufferer the support they need to aid effective healing.   
Hypnotherapy enables a sufferer to regain control of their life.  A variety of techniques are applied to identify the underlying causes of the eating disorder, while providing long term coping strategies to encourage sensible eating.  Treatments usually involve sessions to build self-esteem, confidence, while enhancing self-image – as well as encouraging a healthy attitude towards eating and nutrition