Eating disorders are a category of mental disorders that defined by patterns of behaviour, thoughts and attitudes to food, eating or body image that negatively impact an individual’s life. As the disorders impact the health of one’s body, eating disorders can be potentially life threatening.
The hallmark characteristics of Anorexia Nervosa is significantly low weight, restricting the amount of calories consumed, a fear of gaining weight and disturbed body image.
Bulimia Nervosa is characterised by significant body image concerns and episodes of binge eating followed by engaging in compensatory behaviours to attempt to eliminate the calories consumed through behaviours such as purging or excessive exercise. A binge is an episodes of eating where there is a sense of loss of control over the amount of food eaten.
Binge Eating Disorder
Key features of Binge Eating Disorder are body image concerns with episodes of binge eating. A binge is typically a discrete period of time in which a large amount of food is consumed with a sense of loss of control.
Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, or ARFID, unlike other eating disorders, may not have a significant body image component. Rather, patterns of eating are disturbed due to belief about the consequences of certain foods or aversion to sensory aspect of the food. There is often a significant deficiency or low weight associated with restricted intake.
Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorder
Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders, or OSFED, is a category of eating disorders where there are disturbed patterns of eating but the difficulties do not meet full criteria for eating disorders. It remains a serious category of illness, which does significantly impact an individual’s functioning.
When we experience an eating disorder, the eating disorder can trickle into all aspects of our lives including the way we relate to people like friends and family, the way we see ourselves, and impact our day to day lives. Depending on your age and the eating disorder/behaviours an individual may present with to The Mind Body Practice, will depend on the intervention options available.
The psychologists at The Mind Body Practice value evidence-based practice, and the two most evidence-based intervention for people experiencing an eating disorder include:
Family-based therapy is most effective when a young person (under 19 years of age) seeks intervention for an eating disorder. Family-based therapy centres on family and how best the family system can support a young person through the experience of an eating disorder.
Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy Enhanced (CBT-E)
Cognitive-behavioural therapy enhanced is often the treatment of choice for individuals experiencing an eating disorder from 18 years and onwards. CBT-E aims at exploring an individual’s eating disorder behaviour, as well as investigating and challenging unhelpful thinking styles and cognitions.
No matter the presentation, The Mind Body Practice will always work with a client centred approach and work collaboratively as possible with any client who walks through the door.