Living with anorexia is all about control and restriction. You may feel as though you can’t stop. Your goal of being at a specific weight continues to change. The dissatisfaction with body and continues to control your eating. The experience only intensifies and doesn’t get easier. It’s as though something is wrong and having everything under control doesn’t feel effective. You can’t figure it out on your own.
WE CAN HELP.
Anorexia can be numbing as it creates a hollow detachment from everything. People who struggle this way are not crazy. Anorexia is a sophisticated way of coping in a world that feels out of control – a safety mechanism that is biologically based. This isn’t your fault. Think of how you would feel if this void was filled with less control and more possibility.
How do you recognize the symptoms?
Many believe that a person with anorexia simply restricts their food and looks too thin. Although this may be true at the time, we know this isn’t always the case. There are reasons anorexia is triggered biologically in the brain. You can be going through a difficult relationship, struggling with depression, or dealing with stress or bullying. Loss can even trigger a need to take control of your feelings. But do you actually have anorexia? That’s why it’s important to seek treatment from a certified eating disorder specialist. The symptoms can be confusing, but the struggle can be overcome. Recovery is possible. The first step is to know the signs of anorexia.
Control is one of the main identifiers.
You may find yourself oddly fixated on the need to be perfect, possibly your body and weight. When these thoughts don’t stop, they can dominate your life and challenge everything you do. Nothing is good enough. You may be controlling food by avoiding social events or refusing meals because you don’t feel good enough. If this sounds familiar, it may be time to seek help.
You may not communicate well. You have difficulty asserting yourself. This creates confusion and misunderstanding. If you can’t access your emotions how do you know what to talk about?
You are great at hiding. This is how anorexia started in the first place. It keeps you safe. If you are a person who wants to get better, you may have to face the truth.
Ask yourself, “What is my relationship with food?” This is a simple question, but anorexia treatment goes beneath the surface to understand the complexity of the answer. A specialist can connect the dots between food restriction, exercise, isolation, perfectionism, emotional avoidance, relationships, school, and work, as well as the management of anorexia as the key to holding everything together.
We know how to help.
When it’s scary ]and you don’t know what to do, breaking the cycle is key. You know better than anyone else that this is a horrible experience. You may not even want to give it up. There’s so much holding you back but it’s the only thing keeping you strong. We’re trained in anorexia treatment that accounts for problems that are often co-occurring with anorexia, such as anxiety, family issues, depression, codependency, school problems, bipolar disorder, self-harm, and other mood and behavioral problems.
Why should I seek a specialist?
Treating eating disorders has its own language and boundaries. One word about food can trigger a negative moment. There are medical standards that must be understood in order to treat restriction. When one of the most severe and intense mental health disorders hits you, you’ll want a specialist in your corner. Treatment for such disorders requires dedication, knowledge, and adherence to ethical standards established by the Academy for Eating Disorders to ensure you receive the care required for recovery. A specialist has to know how to identify the connections between various disorders and how to treat them. Therapists who specialize in anxiety, depression, even cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may not know how to truly address the intensity of eating disorders.
Can you offer skills and insight?
Yes. We will help you to develop more awareness as to why this disorder began in the first place. You can create the sense of strength and renewal you deserve. Working with our expertise and know-how can change your life.
For the perfectionist, obsessive behavior is difficult to challenge. We know how to create a wedge between your impulse and urges. We are trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and integrated psychodynamic approaches and will help you utilize new skills to build awareness. You then will have the power to challenge not only your thoughts but your actions.
Anorexia often can present as a surprise to family and even you! You may have a seemingly perfect life, but this can sometimes cause rigid obsessions. You may take pride in being a perfectionist, often without causing any commotion. If you’re a parent, you may find yourself saying, “But we’ve never had a problem with our child. This doesn’t add up.”
Further signs and symptoms of anorexia include:
- Extreme weight loss
- Thin appearance
- Abnormal blood counts
- Elevated liver enzymes
- Dizziness or fainting
- Brittle nails
- Hair that thins, breaks or falls out
- Absence of menstruation (amenorrhea)
- Development of fine hair on the extremities (lanugo)
- Dry skin
- Intolerance of cold
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Low blood pressure
- Osteoporosis, the loss of bone calcium, which may result in broken bones
There are ways to prevent it from getting worse and stop it before control takes over.