Do you feel a loss of control when you’re around food? Do you skip meals, or do you rigidly restrict your food intake? Are you consumed with thoughts about your body shape or your weight?
Many people are aware of what an eating disorder is, but disordered eating may sound less familiar. Disordered eating is not a diagnosis but a phrase used to describe a range of problematic eating behaviors. In disordered eating, a person feels the need to control their caloric intake, the types of food they eat (i.e. no sugar, fat, etc…), and often experience a higher than normal level of anxiety when eating “unhealthy” foods. Often a person’s anxiety, energy level, and/or mood will greatly fluctuate when their meal plan does not go the way they envisioned. This pattern of worry can be the seed for a future Eating Disorder. The signs and symptoms of disordered eating are similar to those of an eating disorder, although they will vary with frequency and severity.
While disordered eating may not result in the extreme symptoms seen in a diagnosable eating disorder, it has the potential to negatively impact a person’s life. For example, someone with disordered eating may miss work, school or personal events because of anxiety or discomfort around food, or because of an obsessive exercise routine. Their obsession with food and exercise may affect their ability to focus or concentrate, impacting their performance at work or school. Moreover, disordered eating can also take a mental and physical toll on a person. Negative self-thinking can impact their mental health, and their poor eating habits can affect them physically, such as their cardiovascular and intestinal health. Disordered eating also puts the individual at high risk for developing an eating disorder.
Dr. Arthur has received many years of supervision in the diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders. He often works with a multi-disciplinary team which includes a nutritionist and psychiatrist to help the client recovery. Dr. Arthur was a primary therapist and intentive outpatient therapist at a nationally known eating disorder treatment center. He brings those years of experience into his treatment of his clients. His treatment method is emotion-centered as research has suggested, along with his clinical experiences, that in an eating disorder, it’s not “only about the food or body shape.”
While helping the client stabilize in their nutritional intake, Dr. Arthur places emphasis on the client developing emotional strength, distress tolerance, social skills, and a sense of purpose in life (not connected to body image). Additionally, Dr. Arthur also places clinical importance on “real-world” exposures to help the client put their new skills into practice.
What causes people to engage in harmful eating habits can be complex, and vary per the individual. Everyone’s struggle with food and disorder is slightly different. Thus, Dr. Arthur custom develops a concierge-style therapy plan to address issues as they arise. For more information on Concierge Therapy Services, Click Here. Individually tailored therapy can help a person examine their past to understand what led to these behaviors, their current stressors and “triggers,” and learn to build strength through their emotions. The goal of “accepting and loving oneself” is not easy and is different for each person. Dr. Arthur will work with the client to create healthier habits and develop coping mechanisms for difficult cues or triggers.
If you find yourself struggling with:
- Frequent dieting or obsessive calorie counting
- Rigid food restriction or skipping meals
- Feeling anxiety, guilt or shame about certain foods or food in general
- Obsessive exercising, or exercise to “punish” for overeating
- Binging and/or purging
- Self-worth or self-esteem because of your weight or body shape and weight
- Feeling out of control around food
… then you contact Dr. Arthur for a consultation.
If you’re struggling with disordered eating and need support and guidance, a licensed therapist can help you create healthier habits for both your body and mind. Give my office a call today, and let’s schedule a time to talk.